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Kathleen McCoy * / Harriet Chan
Citation Information : Australasian Journal of Neuroscience. Volume 26, Issue 1, Pages 38-43, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/ajon-2017-125
License : (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Published Online: 25-January-2018
Objective: To assess the feasibility of service integration for neurological care.
Design: Observation study
Participants: A total of 104 admissions for 92 neurological patients treated in a major region hospital and suitable for discharge home were eligible for participation.
Intervention: A neurological integrated care pathway (NICP) was trialled at a major regional hospital between July 2012 and June 2013. Objective data included patients, gender, age, diagnosis, length of hospital stay, referral dates, discharge dates, dates when patients were seen by the community neurological liaison nurse, and readmissions were collated for analyses.
Outcome measures: Targeted outcomes included the estimated service impact on the hospital in terms of reduced length of hospital stay and decreased readmissions and increased referral rate to community neurological support service, and quality of patient care.
Results: The trial saw an increase in efficiency and standard of care despite growth in patient numbers. The CNLN attended to 104 recorded referrals (more than 17 times the number of referrals in 2011), all within 7 days of their referral date (a 77.4% decrease compared to 2011 where patients were attended to up to 31 days). In addition, the average length of hospital stay had decreased significantly from 26 days in 2011 to 9 days (a 65.4% decrease) with a low rate of re-admission (approximately 11.5%).
Conclusion: The NICP improved service efficiency for both the hospital system and the community neurological support service, with high levels of patient satisfaction. In this case the NICP achieved best value from existing resources and provided a viable model of service delivery for chronic neurological conditions.