Shared consultation between healthcare professionals: Nursing home, general practitioner, and hospital staff.
In 17 years’ time, one in four Danes will be over 65 years old, and many more than today, will need a place in a nursing home, frequent contact with their general doctor and admission to hospital. Two out of three nursing home residents have a diagnosis of dementia. This place demands on health professionals and relatives to look after the interests of nursing home residents in a patient process, which requires good communication and information exchange between the sectors, as we risk many readmissions and insufficient patient processes if this communication is deficient. Two points in the cross-sectoral patient process for the elderly citizen are particularly critical: At admission, in the transition between municipal care system and hospital, there is a lack of passing on knowledge, and at discharge, in the transition between hospital and municipal care system. There is also a lack of knowledge here, so that treatment and care of the elderly can continue under municipal auspices.
Today, the sharing of information between the sectors takes place primarily electronically, and despite the fact that the Danish healthcare system uses standardized templates and collaboration agreements, etc., which are supposed to increase the quality of cross-disciplinary patient processes, there is still a need for further research and development in the area of collaboration, information exchange and communication between the health professionals who are involved in the care home resident's transversal patient process.
The PhD study is a sub-project of the collaboration FOREFRONT (PÅ FORKANT), between the Hospital Sønderjylland, the four Southern Jutland municipalities Tønder, Sønderborg, Haderslev and Aabenraa, the general practitioners in the four municipalities and a few research groups under the University of Southern Denmark.
The purpose of the PhD study is, from a health professional perspective, to assess whether further development and application of existing information and communication technology, with a focus on user involvement can optimize information exchange in patient process and support of the nursing home residents as well as better treatment and care. Below, we will uncover and analyze the collaboration and information exchange between the health professionals involved and assess how existing technological infrastructure can be used in such a way that better information exchange is ensured in the cross-sectional patient process.
What existing knowledge exists about communication and information exchange among health professionals who are involved in the nursing home resident's cross-sectional patient process?
What need for information exchange is identified among the health professionals and the patient/relatives who are involved in the elderly care home resident's patient course?
How can we work with cross-sector information sharing in a new way with the existing technological infrastructure?
The methodological approach for this PhD study is generally qualitative, where, in addition to literature study, field studies, semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews and workshops will be used. The study design is based on Participatory Design, which has its starting point in interactive processes and active involvement of users and developers.
The project is limited to dealing with patient processes for citizens over 75 living in care homes who are admitted urgently to the Hospital Sønderjylland and then discharged from the Common Emergency Reception (FAM) or from specialist departments. The citizen must reside in a nursing home in one of the four municipalities in Southern Jutland from FOREFRONT in the period 2022-2025.
The project is continuously communicated in a closed forum to FOREFRONT steering group and dialogue forum. The project's results are published as at least three scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals with Open Access dealing with results from the study. In addition, presentations are planned at relevant conferences within Health Prevention, IT development, interdisciplinary collaboration, and care for the elderly.
November 2022 – October 2025
Main supervisor: Professor Pernille Tanggaard Andersen, PhD, Head of the Unit for Health Promotion Research, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
Co-supervisor: Professor Jens Søndergaard, PhD, Cand. med.; Research manager, general practitioner, clinical pharmacologist, Research Unit of General Practice, University of Southern Denmark.
Co-supervisor: Postdoc Mette Elkjær, Emergency Department, Hospital Sønderjylland and Department of Regional Health Research, University of Southern Denmark.
Co-supervisor: Head nurse Mette Maria Skjøth, PhD, HD(O), RN Skin Department I and the Allergy Centre, Odense University Hospital and specialist advisor at Sundhed.dk