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Blog: Ryman Healthcare on supporting clinical decision-making with the Frailty care guides

Aged residential care
06 December 2019

Clinical systems manager at Ryman Healthcare, Victoria Brevoort, shares how the Health Quality & Safety Commission’s Ngā aratohu maimoa hauwarea | Frailty care guides are being used across their organisation.

The guides comprise of 26 practical tools covering the full spectrum of frailty, from deterioration and specific health concerns to communication and advance care planning. They are for use in any setting where people at risk of frailty receive care, including aged residential care, primary health care, community care, hospice and acute hospitals.

As soon as the Frailty care guides were released, we very excitedly shared them with the clinical managers and unit coordinators in our villages. We quickly received comments back about how they are helpful and easy to understand.

Supporting nursing practice

We started by adding links to the different topics in the guides to our clinical resource intranet pages. Under each topic there are links to policies, education material, resources, research articles, videos and any other useful information for the clinical team. For example, on the falls prevention clinical resource page, we have now included the falls prevention guide.

We have since added links to the various guides into our electronic assessments, to help support clinical decision-making processes for our registered nurses. For example, within our food and fluid assessment we have a link to the nutrition and hydration frailty care guide. This piece of work is ongoing and will be completed over the next few weeks.

Informing clinical policy

We have also used the guides to help inform clinical policies. This was especially helpful in our assessment and management of the acutely unwell resident policy. The acute deterioration guide helped to provide a clear structured pathway for nursing staff to follow and we integrated the STOP AND WATCH acronym within the policy. We also made the clinical steps align more closely with the clinical reasoning guide.

We are now integrating the guides into the education provided to the clinical teams in Ryman villages.

Positive feedback

Feedback has been immensely positive. The most useful thing for staff is how complex information is easy to understand. One staff member commented ‘this is a great resource with excellent language around describing levels of frailty. Thanks for sharing it’.

Other feedback we had was about the skin wounds guide. The recommended care checklist made it very easy for staff to understand what we meant by tailoring interventions to align with residents’ needs.

The guides describe frailty well. They are helping nurses with clinical decision-making and understanding different frailty concepts.

Ngā aratohu maimoa hauwarea | Frailty care guides are available by clicking the link below. There is also a link to purchase hard copies to be couriered if preferred. 

Author: Victoria Brevoort, clinical systems manager at Ryman Healthcare