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      Impetus to change: a multi-site qualitative exploration of the national audit of dementia

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          Abstract

          Background

          National audit is a key strategy used to improve care for patients with dementia. Audit and feedback has been shown to be effective, but with variation in how much it improves care. Both evidence and theory identify active ingredients associated with effectiveness of audit and feedback. It is unclear to what extent national audit is consistent with evidence- and theory-based audit and feedback best practice.

          Methods

          We explored how the national audit of dementia is undertaken in order to identify opportunities to enhance its impact upon the improvement of care for people with dementia. We undertook a multi-method qualitative exploration of the national audit of dementia at six hospitals within four diverse English National Health Service organisations. Inductive framework analysis of 32 semi-structured interviews, documentary analysis ( n = 39) and 44 h of observations ( n = 36) was undertaken. Findings were presented iteratively to a stakeholder group until a stable description of the audit and feedback process was produced.

          Results

          Each organisation invested considerable resources in the audit. The audit results were dependent upon the interpretation by case note reviewers who extracted the data. The national report was read by a small number of people in each organisation, who translated it into an internal report and action plan. The internal report was presented at specialty- and organisation-level committees. The internal report did not include information that was important to how committee members collectively decided whether and how to improve performance. Participants reported that the national audit findings may not reach clinicians who were not part of the specialty or organisation-level committees.

          Conclusions

          There is considerable organisational commitment to the national audit of dementia. We describe potential evidence- and theory-informed enhancements to the enactment of the audit to improve the local response to performance feedback in the national audit. The enhancements relate to the content and delivery of the feedback from the national audit provider, support for the clinicians leading the organisational response to the feedback, and the feedback provided within the organisation.

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          Most cited references 8

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          RE-AIM Planning and Evaluation Framework: Adapting to New Science and Practice With a 20-Year Review

          The RE-AIM planning and evaluation framework was conceptualized two decades ago. As one of the most frequently applied implementation frameworks, RE-AIM has now been cited in over 2,800 publications. This paper describes the application and evolution of RE-AIM as well as lessons learned from its use. RE-AIM has been applied most often in public health and health behavior change research, but increasingly in more diverse content areas and within clinical, community, and corporate settings. We discuss challenges of using RE-AIM while encouraging a more pragmatic use of key dimensions rather than comprehensive applications of all elements. Current foci of RE-AIM include increasing the emphasis on cost and adaptations to programs and expanding the use of qualitative methods to understand “how” and “why” results came about. The framework will continue to evolve to focus on contextual and explanatory factors related to RE-AIM outcomes, package RE-AIM for use by non-researchers, and integrate RE-AIM with other pragmatic and reporting frameworks.
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            Reinvigorating stagnant science: implementation laboratories and a meta-laboratory to efficiently advance the science of audit and feedback

            Audit and feedback (A&F) is a commonly used quality improvement (QI) approach. A Cochrane review indicates that A&F is generally effective and leads to modest improvements in professional practice but with considerable variation in the observed effects. While we have some understanding of factors that enhance the effects of A&F, further research needs to explore when A&F is most likely to be effective and how to optimise it. To do this, we need to move away from two-arm trials of A&F compared with control in favour of head-to-head trials of different ways of providing A&F. This paper describes implementation laboratories involving collaborations between healthcare organisations providing A&F at scale, and researchers, to embed head-to-head trials into routine QI programmes. This can improve effectiveness while producing generalisable knowledge about how to optimise A&F. We also describe an international meta-laboratory that aims to maximise cross-laboratory learning and facilitate coordination of A&F research.
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              Clinical performance comparators in audit and feedback: a review of theory and evidence

              Background Audit and feedback (A&F) is a common quality improvement strategy with highly variable effects on patient care. It is unclear how A&F effectiveness can be maximised. Since the core mechanism of action of A&F depends on drawing attention to a discrepancy between actual and desired performance, we aimed to understand current and best practices in the choice of performance comparator. Methods We described current choices for performance comparators by conducting a secondary review of randomised trials of A&F interventions and identifying the associated mechanisms that might have implications for effective A&F by reviewing theories and empirical studies from a recent qualitative evidence synthesis. Results We found across 146 trials that feedback recipients’ performance was most frequently compared against the performance of others (benchmarks; 60.3%). Other comparators included recipients’ own performance over time (trends; 9.6%) and target standards (explicit targets; 11.0%), and 13% of trials used a combination of these options. In studies featuring benchmarks, 42% compared against mean performance. Eight (5.5%) trials provided a rationale for using a specific comparator. We distilled mechanisms of each comparator from 12 behavioural theories, 5 randomised trials, and 42 qualitative A&F studies. Conclusion Clinical performance comparators in published literature were poorly informed by theory and did not explicitly account for mechanisms reported in qualitative studies. Based on our review, we argue that there is considerable opportunity to improve the design of performance comparators by (1) providing tailored comparisons rather than benchmarking everyone against the mean, (2) limiting the amount of comparators being displayed while providing more comparative information upon request to balance the feedback’s credibility and actionability, (3) providing performance trends but not trends alone, and (4) encouraging feedback recipients to set personal, explicit targets guided by relevant information. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1186/s13012-019-0887-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                michael.sykes@ncl.ac.uk
                Journal
                Implement Sci
                Implement Sci
                Implementation Science : IS
                BioMed Central (London )
                1748-5908
                17 June 2020
                17 June 2020
                2020
                : 15
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.1006.7, ISNI 0000 0001 0462 7212, Newcastle University, ; Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                [2 ]GRID grid.8391.3, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8024, University of Exeter, ; Exeter, UK
                [3 ]GRID grid.42629.3b, ISNI 0000000121965555, Northumbria University, ; Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
                Article
                1004
                10.1186/s13012-020-01004-z
                7302390
                32552860
                © The Author(s) 2020

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                Funding
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000272, National Institute for Health Research;
                Award ID: DRF-2016-09-028
                Award Recipient :
                Categories
                Research
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                © The Author(s) 2020

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