Hong Kong Med J 2011;17:217–30 | Number 3, June 2011
Quality of care of nurse-led and allied health personnel-led primary care clinics
WY Chin, Cindy LK Lam, SV Lo
Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To review the literature regarding quality of care of nurse-led and allied health personnel-led primary care clinics with specific attention to the quality indicators for fall prevention, continence care, pulmonary rehabilitation, mental health, pharmaceutical care, and wound care services.
DATA SOURCES. Literature search from 1990 to 2010 including Ovid Medline, Cochrane Database, RAND (Research and Development) Corporation Health Database, the ACOVE (Assessing the Care of Vulnerable Elders) project and clinical guidelines from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. Study selection This review was limited to studies involving adult, primary care patients. Where available, evidence from systematic reviews and meta-analyses were used to synthesise findings.
DATA EXTRACTION. Combinations of the following terms (and related terms) were used to identify studies: primary care, clinic, allied-health, nurse-led, fall prevention, continence care, incontinence, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, pulmonary disease, respiratory rehabilitation, mental health, mental wellbeing, depression, anxiety, wound care, leg ulcer, venous ulcer, dressings clinic, wound clinic, medication review, pharmacistled, pharmaceutical care.
DATA SYNTHESIS. A total of 21 international guidelines and 33 studies were selected for data synthesis. Despite a lack of consistent outcomes data, it is apparent that certain aspects of organisational structure and clinical care processes are important though not necessarily sufficient indicators of quality of care, because they themselves can influence care outcomes. Seven key factors were identified which seem important determinants of the quality of care provided by nurse– and allied health personnel-led clinics.
CONCLUSION. Delivery of primary health care by nurse and allied health personnel-led teams is a well-established model, internationally. Evidence from the literature provides benchmarks for standards of good practice. Knowledge of factors influencing quality of care can assist the planning, implementation, evaluation, and further expansion of such programmes, locally.
Key words: Allied health-personnel; Health services needs and demand; Nurse practitioners; Primary health care; Quality of life
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