Trans-disciplinary advanced allied health practitioners for acute hospital inpatients: a feasibility study Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Objective

    To explore cost-efficiency, safety and acceptability of trans-disciplinary advanced allied health (AH) practitioners for acute adult general medicine inpatients.

    Design

    Quasi-experimental feasibility study.

    Setting

    Three acute general medical units in an Australian urban hospital.

    Participants

    Two hundred and fifty-six acute hospital inpatients.

    Main outcome measures

    Cost-efficiency measures included AH service utilization and length of stay (LOS). Patient outcomes were functional independence, discharge destination, adverse events, unplanned admissions within 28 days, patient satisfaction and quality of life data on admission, and 30 days post-discharge. Ward staff were surveyed regarding satisfaction with the service model, and advanced health practitioners (AHPs) rated their confidence in their own ability to meet the performance standards of the role.

    Results

    Patients allocated to AHPs (n = 172) received 0.91 less hours of AH intervention (adjusted for LOS) (95% confidence intervals (CI): -1.68 to -0.14; P = 0.02) and had 1.76 days shorter LOS relative to expected (95%CI: 0.18-3.34; P = 0.03) compared with patients receiving standard AH (n = 84). There were no differences in patient outcomes or satisfaction. AHPs demonstrated growth in job satisfaction and skill confidence.

    Conclusions

    Trans-disciplinary advanced AH roles may be feasible and cost-efficient compared with traditional roles for acute general medical inpatients. Further development of competency frameworks is recommended.

authors

  • Watterson, Dina
  • Walter, Kerrie
  • O’Brien, Lisa
  • Terrill, Desiree
  • Philip, Kathleen
  • Swan, Indi
  • Somerville, Lisa

publication date

  • March 1, 2019