Collecting pieces for the ‘puzzle’: Nurses' intraprofessional collaboration in the hospital-to-home transition of older patients

Mette Frier Hansen, Bente Martinsen, Kathleen Galvin, Bjørn Porup Thomasen, Annelise Norlyk*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Abstract

Background and aim: Communication is a key factor in intraprofessional collaboration between hospital nurses and homecare nurses in hospital-to-home transitions of older patients with complex care needs. Gaining knowledge of the nature of cross-sectoral communication is crucial for understanding how nurses collaborate to ensure a seamless patient trajectory. This study explores how cross-sectoral electronic health records communication influences collaboration between hospital nurses and homecare nurses when discharging older patients with complex care needs. Method: The study is based on qualitative group interviews with six hospital nurses and 14 homecare nurses working at different hospitals and municipalities across Denmark. Data were analysed using reflexive thematic analysis, as described by Braun and Clark. Findings: The themes Collecting pieces for the ‘puzzle’: Losing the holistic picture of the patient; Working blindfolded: limited provision of and access to critical information; and Bypassing the ‘invisible wall’: dialogue supports cohesion illustrate the impact of organisational structures within electronic health records have on hospital nurses' and homecare nurses' intraprofessional collaboration across sectors. Challenges with predefined and word-limited elements in digital communication, and inadequate and limited access to significant medical information were identified. To compensate for the inadequacy of the electronic health records, direct contact and dialogue were emphasised as ways of fostering successful collaboration and overcoming the barriers created by electronic health records. Conclusion: Despite hospital nurses' and homecare nurses' desire to conduct holistic patient assessments, their ability to collaborate was hindered by failures in electronic health record communication resulting from restrictive organisational structures across sectors. Thus, it became necessary for hospital nurses and homecare nurses to bypass the electronic health record system and engage in dialogue to provide holistic care when discharging older patients with complex care needs. However, by hospital nurses and homecare nurses compensating for counter-productive organisational structures, problems brought about by the electronic health record system paradoxically remain invisible.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences
Vol/bindEarly View
ISSN0283-9318
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Emneord

  • cross-sectoral collaboration
  • cross-sectoral communication
  • cross-sectoral transition
  • discharge of older patients
  • homecare nursing
  • intraprofessional collaboration of nurses
  • person-centred care
  • qualitative research

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