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TIME to think about delirium: improving detection and management on the acute medical unit

Bauernfreund, Y; Butler, M; Ragavan, S; Sampson, EL; (2018) TIME to think about delirium: improving detection and management on the acute medical unit. BMJ Open Quality , 7 (3) , Article e000200. 10.1136/bmjoq-2017-000200. Green open access

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Abstract

Delirium affects 18%-35% patients in the acute hospital setting, yet is often neither detected nor managed appropriately. It is associated with increased risk of falls, longer hospital stay and increased morbidity and mortality rates. It is a frightening and unpleasant experience for both patients and their families. We used quality improvement tools and a multicomponent intervention to promote detection and improve management of delirium on the acute medical unit (AMU). We reviewed whether a delirium screening tool (4AT) had been completed for all patients aged over 65 years admitted to the AMU over 1 week. If delirium was detected, we assessed whether investigation and management was adequate as per national guidance. After baseline data collection, we delivered focused sessions of delirium education for doctors and nursing staff, including training on use of the 4AT tool and the TIME (Triggers, Investigate, Manage, Engage) management bundle. We introduced TIME checklists, an online delirium order set and created a bedside orientation tool. We collected data following the interventions and identified areas for further improvement. Following our first PDSA (Plan, Do, Study, Act) cycle, use of the 4AT screening tool improved from 40% to 61%. Adequate assessment for the causes of and exacerbating factors for delirium increased from 73% to 94% of cases. Use of personal orientation tools improved from 0% to 38%. In summary, a targeted staff education programme and practical aids for the ward have improved the screening and management of delirium on the AMU. This may be improved further through more frequent training sessions to account for regular change-over of junior doctors and through implementing a nursing champion for delirium.

Type: Article
Title: TIME to think about delirium: improving detection and management on the acute medical unit
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjoq-2017-000200
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjoq-2017-000200
Language: English
Additional information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2018. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Keywords: PDSA, hospital medicine, medical education, mental health, quality improvement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056705
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