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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2016 Jun;34(2):186-95. doi: 10.3109/02813432.2016.1163036. Epub 2016 Apr 19.

Writing information transfers for out-of-hours palliative care: a controlled trial among GPs.

Author information

1
a Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine, EMGO + Institute for Health and Care Research , VU University Medical Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands ;
2
b Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO + Institute for Health and Care Research , VU University Medical Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands ;
3
c Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO + Institute for Health and Care Research , VU University Medical Center , Amsterdam , The Netherlands ;
4
d End-of-Life Care Research Group , Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel , Brussels , Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim was to evaluate the effect of the implementation of an information handover form regarding patients receiving palliative care. Outcome was the information available for the out-of-hours GP co-operative.

DESIGN:

We conducted a controlled trial.

SETTING:

All GPs in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

INTERVENTION:

The experimental group (N = 240) received an information handover form and an invitation for a one-hour training, the control group (N =  186) did not receive a handover form or training. We studied contacts with the GP co-operative concerning patients in palliative care for the presence and quality of information transferred by the patient's own GP.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Proportion of contacts in which information was available and proportion of adequate information transfer.

RESULTS:

Overall information was transferred by the GPs in 179 of the 772 first palliative contacts (23.2%). The number of contacts in the experimental group in which information was available increased significantly after intervention from 21% to 30%, compared to a decrease from 23% to 19% in the control group. The training had no additional effect. The content of the transferred information was adequate in 61.5%. There was no significant difference in the quality of the content between the groups.

CONCLUSION:

The introduction of a handover form resulted in a moderate increase of information transfers to the GP co-operative. However, the total percentage of contacts in which this information was present remained rather low. GP co-operatives should develop additional policies to improve information transfer. Key points  The out-of-hours period is potentially problematic for the delivery of optimal palliative care, often due to inadequate information transfer.  Introduction of a handover form resulted in a moderate increase of transferred information.  The percentage of palliative contacts remained low in cases where information was available.  Adequate information was transferred in more than half of the cases.

KEYWORDS:

Education; GP co-operative; The Netherlands; general practice; out-of-hours care; palliative care; primary care

PMID:
27092979
PMCID:
PMC4977942
DOI:
10.3109/02813432.2016.1163036
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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