Describing Transitional Palliative Nursing Care Using a Standardized Terminology

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We used a standardized terminology to describe patient problems and the nursing care provided in a pilot study of a transitional palliative care intervention with patients and caregivers. Narrative phrases of a nurse's documentation were mapped to the Omaha System (problem, intervention, and target). Over the course of the intervention, 109 notes (1473 phrases) were documented for 9 adults discharged home (mean age, 68 years; mean number of morbid conditions, 7.1; mean number of medications, 15.4). Thirty-one of the 42 Omaha System problems were identified; the average number of problems per patient was 13. Phrases were mapped to all 4 problem domains (environmental, 2.6%; health-related behaviors, 52.3%; physiological, 30.8%; and psychosocial, 14.3%). Surveillance phrases were the most frequent (72.4%); case management phrases were at 20.9%, and teaching, guidance, and counseling phrases were at 6.7%. The number of problems documented per patient correlated with the time between the first and last notes (ρ = 0.76; P = .02) but not with the number of notes per patient (ρ = 0.51; P = .16). These results are the first to describe nursing interventions in transitioning palliative care from hospital to home with a standardized terminology. Linking interventions to patient problems is critical for describing effective strategies in transitioning palliative care from hospital to home.

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