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Title: The frequency and nature of barriers to escalation of care in two Australian teaching hospitals.
Austin Authors: Wright, Breanna;Plant, Bernice;Lennox, Alyse;Faulkner, Nicholas;Bragge, Peter;Doric, Andrea;Jones, Daryl A ;Leung, Christopher 
Affiliation: BehaviourWorks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute, Monash University, Australia.
Eastern Health, Victoria, Australia.
Intensive Care
University of Melbourne Clinical School
Issue Date: Nov-2023
Date: 2023
Publication information: Australian Critical Care : Official Journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses 2023-11; 36(6)
Abstract: Nurses and junior doctors are often the first clinicians to recognise signs of deterioration in patients. However, there can be barriers to having conversations about escalation of care. The aim of this study was to study the frequency and nature of barriers encountered during discussions related to escalation of care for deteriorating hospitalised patients. This was a prospective observational study with daily experience sampling surveys related to escalation of care discussions. The study setting involved two teaching hospitals in Victoria, Australia. Consented doctors, nurses, and allied health staff members involved in routine care of adult ward patients participated in the study. The main outcome measures included the frequency of escalation conversations and the frequency and nature of barriers encountered during such conversations. 31 clinicians participated in the study and completed an experience sampling survey 294 times, mean (standard deviation) = 9.48 (5.82). On 166 (56.6%) days, staff members were on clinical duties, and escalation of care discussions occurred on 67 of 166 (40.4%) of these days. Barriers to escalation of care occurred in 25 of 67 (37.3%) of discussions and most frequently involved lack of staff availability (14.9%), perceived stress in the contacted staff member (14.9%), perceptions of criticism (9.0%), being dismissed (7.5%), or indication of lack of clinical appropriateness in the response (6.0%). Discussions related to escalation of care by ward clinicians occur in almost half of clinical days and are associated with barriers in one-third of discussions. Interventions are needed to clarify roles and responsibilities and outline behavioural expectations on both sides of the conversation and enable respectful communication amongst individuals involved in discussions of escalation of patient care.
DOI: 10.1016/j.aucc.2023.02.006
Journal: Australian Critical Care : official journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses
PubMed URL: 37005210
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Barriers
Escalation of care
Patient care
Patient safety
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