An Implementation Assessment of the Virtual Acute Care for Elders Program From the Perspective of Key Stakeholders.

Academic Article

Abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to obtain feedback from key stakeholders and end users to identify program strengths and weaknesses to plan for wider dissemination and implementation of the Virtual Acute Care for Elders (Virtual ACE) program, a novel intervention that improves outcomes for older surgical patients. BACKGROUND: Virtual ACE was developed to deliver evidence-based geriatric care without requiring daily presence of a geriatrician. Previous work demonstrated that Virtual ACE increased mobility and decreased delirium rates for surgical patients. METHODS: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 30 key stakeholders (physicians, nurses, hospital leadership, nurse managers, information technology staff, and physical/occupational therapists) involved in the implementation and use of the program. RESULTS: Our stakeholders indicated that Virtual ACE was extremely empowering for bedside nurses. The program helped nurses identify older patients who were at risk for a difficult postoperative recovery. Virtual ACE also gave them skills to manage complex older patients and more effectively communicate their needs to surgeons and other providers. Nurse managers felt that Virtual ACE helped them allocate limited resources and plan their unit staffing assignments to better manage the needs of older patients. The main criticism was that the Virtual ACE Tracker that displayed patient status was difficult to interpret and could be improved by a better design interface. Stakeholders also felt that program training needed to be improved to accommodate staff turnover. CONCLUSIONS: Although respondents identified areas for improvement, our stakeholders felt that Virtual ACE empowered them and provided effective tools to improve outcomes for older surgical patients.
  • Published In

  • Annals of Surgery  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Balentine CJ; Morris M; Knight SJ; Turan JM; Flood KL; Gutierrez-Meza D; Macdonald CL; Bhatia S; Brown CJ