Nursing home care: whodunit?

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Aims and objectives(1) To analyse and compare (changes and differences in) activity profiles of various types of nursing home care. (2) To assess the impact of integrated care on these activity profiles.BackgroundBecause of an ongoing introduction of integrated nursing home care, caregivers increasingly have to co-ordinate their activities, engage into interprofessional relationships and take over each other's tasks. Consequently, activity profiles [i.e. combinations of (contributions to) care activities and the roles that perform them] are expected to change.Design/methodsAt three measurement points in the period 1999–2003, caregivers (in 18 different roles) recorded and listed direct and indirect care activities. A total of 41 335 lists were analysed to derive activity profiles of traditional, transitional and integrated nursing home care in the Netherlands.ResultsTraditional, transitional and integrated care shared some comparable activity profiles. Integrated care differed from the other types with respect to the contribution of the geriatric nurse, recreational activities supervisor, nutrition assistant, household assistant and nursing assistant to activities such as extra care, handling food and club activities. Contrary to the other roles, the licensed practical nurse contributed to (almost) all activities in all types of care.ConclusionsNursing home care has several recurring activity profiles. These profiles are the same in all types of nursing home care. The introduction of integrated care implies that particular profiles have to be added to these profiles. As a generalist, the licensed practical nurse seems to play a key role in all activity profiles.Relevance to clinical practiceBecause of demographic and financial pressures, integrated care for older people becomes increasingly important. By addressing the impact of integrated care on activity profiles, this paper provides information on how new types of care can be delivered in the most effective manner.

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