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Using 'nurse sensitive indicators' to examine hospital dementia services - A PhD Study.

Ms Kasia Bail
Research Centre DCRC Assessment and Better Care
Partner Institution University of Canberra
Project Description

Nurses enable risk reduction for patients with complex needs in hospital, such as those with dementia. This thesis utilised a retrospective cohort study to identify that people with dementia in hospital have higher rates of hospital-acquired complications, particularly: urinary tract infections; pressure areas; pneumonia, and delirium (p .0001, RR 2.5). These four key complications are associated with 6.4% of the total estimated cost ofhospital episodes for people over 50, and 24.7% of the estimated extracost of above-average length of stay. These four key complications can be conceptualised as a ‘Failure to Maintain’ older, complex people in hospital, and hence they may be useful indicators for hospital quality.

Layman summary of findings:

Four complications commonly happen to older people in hospital: urinary tract infections; pressure areas; pneumonia, and delirium. Because these are potentially preventable, they can be considered hospitals’ ‘Failure to Maintain’ complex older patients. These complications are expensive. Promoting healthy nursing work environments that minimise nurses’ rationing of functional and cognitive care is likely to reduce these complications and associated costs.

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