Qualitative study exploring factors influencing escalation of care of deteriorating children in a children’s hospital
2.18.5 - National survey on systems, attitudes and practices of prevention, moni- toring and response to clinical intra-hospital deterioration in pediatrics
System-level interventions including rapid response teams and paediatric early warning scores have been designed to support escalation of care and prevent severe adverse events in hospital wards. Barriers and facilitators to escalation of care have been rarely explored in paediatric settings.
This study explores the experiences of parents and healthcare professionals of in-hospital paediatric clinical deterioration events to identify factors associated with escalation of care.
Across 2 hospital sites, 6 focus groups with 32 participants were conducted with parents (n=9) and healthcare professionals (n=23) who had cared for or witnessed a clinical deterioration event of a child. Transcripts of audio recording were analysed for emergent themes using a constant comparative approach.
Four themes and 19 subthemes were identified: (1) impact of staff competencies and skills, including personal judgement of clinical efficacy (self-efficacy), differences in staff training and their impact on perceived nursing credibility; (2) impact of relationships in care focusing on communication and teamwork; (3) processes identifying and responding to clinical deterioration, such as patient assessment practices, tools to support the identification of patients at risk and the role of the rapid response team; and (4) influences of organisational factors on escalation of care, such as staffing, patient pathways and continuity of care.
Findings emphasise the considerable influence of social processes such as teamwork, communication, models of staff organisation and staff education. Further studies are needed to better understand how modification of these factors can be used to improve patient safety.