A national quality registers as a tool to audit items of the fundamentals of care to older patients with hip fractures

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Background.The Swedish healthcare system has a unique resource in the national quality registers. A national quality registry contains individualised data concerning patient problems, medical interventions and outcomes after treatment, within all healthcare settings. Many healthcare settings face challenges related to the way they deliver the fundamentals of care, therefore, it is important to audit the outcome. It is estimated that the number of people aged 80 years or older will have almost quadrupled between 2000 and 2050. Hip fracture has been recognised as the most serious consequence of osteoporosis because of the risk of its complications, which include pain, acute confusional state, pressure ulcers, infections, disability, diminished quality of life and mortality.The aim of this study was therefore to explore if and how a national quality register can be used as an audit tool for the fundamentals of care when it concerns older patients suffering from a hip fracture.Method.For this study we retrospectively selected and audited variables retrieved from the national quality hip fracture register. The audit included 1083 patients 80 years and older, consecutively admitted to a university hospital in the south of Sweden, in 2011–2013.Results.Nearly half of the patients were admitted from their own homes and were living alone. Almost half of the patients could walk outdoors before the fracture occurred. After 4 months, 28.5% of the patients walked outdoors. Additionally, after 4 months about 30% of the patients were still suffering from pain after hip fracture surgery and still using analgesics. There was a reduction in length of stay between 2011 and 2013. As a part of the national quality register the questions from EQ5D were used before surgery and after 4 months. Before discharge from hospital there were less registered complications in 2012 and 2013 compared with 2011.Conclusions.The national hip fracture quality register allows healthcare staff to analyse nursing outcomes and to highlight some fundamental aspects of care.Implications for practice.Greater awareness, among hospital staff, of risk factors for complications in hip fracture patients may lead to improved patient care. Through registration in a quality register and working with the results we as Registered Nurses can ensure quality health care for older adults.

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