A nursing clinical information system for the assessment of the complexity of care
The complexity of care can be described through a clinical nursing information system, in particular through the Professional Assessment Instrument -PAI-, encoding each health care activity in time units and analysing the relationship of observed time to patient characteristics in relation to the functional models of care needs.
Data were collected for 11 months in 2016-17 in four inpatient units of an Italian hospital using the Professional Assessment Instrument, and a survey grid to measure the time of the nursing activities delivered. All activities with a frequency of 20 or more have been included. The Work Sampling technique was used for time-tracking.
The sample included 2765 nursing activities. The mean times for each care activity were compared showing significant differences. A statistically significant correlation (Sperman's correlation coefficient) was observed both between the observed time and the level of illness severity and between time and functional models.
Patient complexity, both in terms of illness severity and level of dependence, can be coded through a clinical nursing information system. This facilitates the classification and measurement of nursing care delivered, which includes the entire care process.