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Title: Quality and safety of inter-hospital transfers care of critically ill patients from rural community hospitals to the Tertiary Regional Hospital in Thailand : a focused ethnographic study
Author: Eiu-Seeyok, Busarin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 6392
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Background: The safety of critically ill patients during inter-hospital transfer is recognised as a globally important issue. However, little evidence exists pertaining to the care provided by transfer nurses throughout the processes of inter-hospital transfer in rural community hospitals where there is a high risk of adverse clinical events occurring during transportation. Aim: The overall aim of the study was to explore transfer nurses' understanding of the delivery of quality of care during the transfer of critically ill patients from rural community hospitals to a tertiary regional hospital in Thailand. Design and Methods: The theory of symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1986) and focused ethnography methodology were used. Data were collected using multiple qualitative methods including sixteen semi-structured interviews with transfer nurses, fourteen observations of critically ill patients' transfers from three rural community hospitals to a tertiary centre and twenty-three subsequent handover events and the analysis of transfer documents from four hospital settings (e.g. one regional hospital and three rural community hospitals) in Thailand. Translation from Thai into English and back translation into vernacular language was required. Inductive, thematic analysis was conducted to identify major themes by using qualitative data analysis software, NVivo 10 to assist data management during the analysis. Results: Five major themes emerged including (i) protective factors influencing safe transfer care, (ii) barrier factors influencing safe transfer care, (iii) behavioural patterns in transfer care processes, (iv) maintaining the health condition of the patients, and (v) overcoming adverse events. These particular themes elaborate the meaning of the quality and patient safety of transfer care, the provision of care for safe transfer care, and significant contextual factors that influence the quality of inter-hospital transfer care for critically ill patients. In addition, Donabedian's model (Donabedian, 1966, 1988) incorporated within the concept of context and culture was utilised to assist in conceptualising the framework for the quality of inter-hospital transfer care of critically ill patients in Thailand. Conclusion: The Donabedian model is useful as it is simple, but it does not include detail of the organisational context and culture as determinants of care quality. A conceptual framework for the quality of inter-hospital transfer care of critically ill patients in Thailand was therefore proposed. This study has expanded on current theoretical knowledge of the quality of inter-hospital transfer care by elaborating the patterns of thought and the behaviour of transfer nurses during provision of care throughout the processes of the inter-hospital transfer. It also highlights the limitations of organisational structure and the environment in which transfer work takes place, including issues on handover processes in hospital transfer care. The results can be useful to transfer nurses in that they facilitate greater understanding of the provision of better quality of care. They also help to inform hospital policy makers how to ensure safety of critically ill patients being transferred from community hospital settings.
Supervisor: Kean, Susanne ; Haycock-Stuart, Elaine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: quality of care ; patient safety ; inter-hospital transfer ; critically ill patients ; community hospitals ; regional hospitals ; focused ethnography ; symbolic interactionism ; Donabedian's model