Optimising care for surgical patients

Optimising care for surgical patients

Principal speaker

Dr Anne Eskes

Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Optimising Health Outcomes Seminar

Title

Optimising care for surgical patients

Abstract

Over 70% of the time spent on care in the hospital is delivered by nurses, and, as a result, the quality of nursing care has a large influence on patient outcomes. Thus, nurses are in the ideal position to play a key role in caring for surgical patients to guarantee high-quality of care. My research has focused on wound care, and more recently on family centred care.

In the area of wounds, our research has revealed a large variation in wound care, which likely results in suboptimal care. This variation may be explained by the variety of wound types, and then less variation should be expected in the care of ‘standard' wounds. Therefore, we studied a seemingly uniform type of wound, namely donor site wounds (DSWs) after split skin grafting. Again, we found a large variation in treatment of these wounds, and after completing a systematic review, we carried out a trial in which we found that hydrocolloid dressings lead to the shortest wound healing time.

Another possible way to improve the care of surgical patients is to make it more family-centred. The combination of increased care complexity and early discharge result in an urgent need to improve the transition from in-hospital care to home care. As a solution, nurses can support and train informal caregivers to carry out fundamental care activities related to the patient's care needs in hospital, particularly when the care is not technical or demanding. Despite the potential benefits of active involvement of informal caregivers, the effectiveness remains unclear, and therefore, we are designing new studies in this area.

Biography

Dr Anne Eskes is a nurse and clinical epidemiologist from the Netherlands. In 2012, she was awarded a PhD for her research into wound care. This research, which was published in 9 papers, focused on the promotion of research utilization and evidence based decision-making, and a set of core competencies required for specialized wound care nurses. After obtaining her PhD, Anne worked as a lecturer in Nursing, researcher, and coordinator of a research center at the University of Applied Sciences (Amsterdam). In May 2017, she obtained a position as nurse researcher at the department of Surgery in the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam to develop her own program of research, focusing on optimizing (nursing) care for surgical patients. Furthermore, in 2016 she was selected as 1 of 12 fellows of a two year leadership program entitled Leadership Mentoring in Nursing Research, set up by Dutch professors in Nursing. This program aims to build a new generation of future research leaders and strengthening nursing research capacity in the Netherlands.

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