Ongoing projects

The concluding seminar of the project “Disseminating evidence-based practices in nursing”

The concluding seminar of the project “Disseminating evidence-based practices in nursing”

The project entitled ”Disseminating evidence-based practices in nursing” is coordinated by the Nursing Research Foundation. The project is conducted in collaboration with the Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District, Hospital District of Northern Savo, Central Finland Health Care District, and Kyyhkylä Rehabilitation Centre. The project has received funding from Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY) for its first two years of operation.

The development goals of the project consisted of three important aspects of safe, high-quality nursing: the prevention of nursing-related infections, falls, and pressure ulcers. The aim is to promote citizens’ equal right to high-quality care regardless of place of residence or care.

The project involved developing practical operational models, guidelines aimed at both citizens and professionals, and processes and checklists describing the entire critical pathway. In addition, the project promoted the formulation of evidence-based nursing guidelines for the prevention and identification of pressure ulcers. One interesting and promising model of operation in spreading evidence-based activities is seen in the Regional Fall Prevention Network (RFPN) at the Hospital District of Northern Savo.

In terms of nursing-related infections, a project is underway at Oulu University Hospital to study the effects of the mode of operation developed during the subproject on the results of the care received by patients (i.e., the number of nursing-related infections), changes in hand hygiene practices, and costs due to the treatment of infection-related adverse events and the development of the new operational model.

During the project, information regarding the operational models was disseminated via follow-up seminars, education sessions, and articles written by participants in the project for both national and international journals. The concluding seminar of the three-year project was held on 2 October 2015 at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki. Although the ”Disseminating evidence-based practices in nursing” project concludes by the end of 2015, activities will continue within various organisations, and uniform operational models will continue to spread. In the future, the Nursing Research Foundation will compile and publish information on the project website regarding the organisations that have adopted the operational models or developed them further.

Regional development of fall prevention 

Fall-related accidents are a global problem in social and health care. The occurrence of fall-related accidents increases with age, which makes the topic especially relevant in the Western world, with changes in population structure leading to the quantitative growth of this very segment of the population.

Most falls occur in or in the proximity of the home; however, estimates place around one fifth of the falls occurring in Finland, for example, to a variety of institutional circumstances. One idiosyncratic characteristic related to falls in the Nordic countries is the slipperiness of pathways and yards in the wintertime.

It is of the utmost importance to make fall prevention a multidisciplinary, evidence-based activity pursued with uniform practices. The aim of the Regional Operational Model for Fall Prevention (KaatYHKÄ) is to create uniform, multidisciplinary guidelines for both professionals and the public as well as operational models for the entire social and health care sector. One of the aims of the multidisciplinary work is to create a solid connection between education, professionals, and the public, supporting the possibilities of each individual to affect his or her risk of falls. The goals of fall prevention are striven towards with the activities of the Regional Fall Prevention Network (RFPN). The operational model of the network is described as the KaatYHKÄ operational model, which can even be applied to other topics requiring regional development.

Prevention of pressure ulcers

The occurrence of pressure ulcers varies from country to country. In Finland, around 55,000–85,000 patients are estimated to develop a pressure ulcer each year. The treatment of pressure ulcers entails high costs and a great deal of human suffering, making the prevention of pressure ulcers an important goal.

The evidence-based uniform operational model is based on the national nursing guideline regarding the prevention and identification of pressure ulcers in the care of adult patients, published in Finnish on 2 October 2015. The guideline is based on the 2014 international guideline, ”Prevention and Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Clinical Practice Guideline”, supplemented by a systematic literature review as well as national guidelines (1 Aug 2013–31 May 2014).

Once the project is completed, the development of the evidence-based uniform operational model for the prevention of pressure ulcers (PaineYHKÄ) will continue in the form of activities within individual service organisations. The development is informed by the Model of Consistent Practices (YHKÄ) and the Regional Development Operational Model (KaatYHKÄ).

Hand hygiene practice evaluation and development – an operational model

Good hand hygiene reduces the number of care-associated infections and thus serves an important mean for improving patients’ outcomes and reducing health care costs. The operational model has been informed by the Model of Consistent Practices (the YHKÄ model) as well as research regarding the adoption and dissemination of evidence-based practices.

The aim of the KhYHKÄ operational model is to strengthen patient safety in social and health care organizations by means of influencing hand hygiene practices. The model gives an evidence-based structure and guides towards systematic and constant monitoring of practices as well as rapid provision of feedback and subsequent changes in practices.

The operational model consists of means for education and data collection, such as observation sheet, instructions for observation and informing staff. In addition a dvd regarding hand hygiene before patient contact is freely available for organizations.

The operational model (KhYHKÄ) has been developed as a collaborative project with the Oulu University Hospital (OYS) and the Nursing Research Foundation (Hotus) with funding from Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY). The number of health care organizations which has been adopted the operational model is increasing in Finland. The model is ready for international adoption because it is based on evidence.