MANUSCRIPT: The impact of web-based and face-to-face simulation on patient deterioration and patient safety: protocol for a multi-site multi-method design
There are international concerns in relation to the management of patient deterioration which has led to a body of evidence known as the ‘failure to rescue’ literature. Nursing staff are known to miss cues of deterioration and often fail to call for assistance. Medical Emergency Teams (Rapid Response Teams) do improve the management of acutely deteriorating patients, but first responders need the requisite skills to impact on patient safety.
In this study we aim to address these issues in a mixed methods interventional trial with the objective of measuring and comparing the cost and clinical impact of face-to-face and web-based simulation programs on the management of patient deterioration and related patient outcomes. The education programs, known as ‘FIRST(2)ACT’, have been found to have an impact on education and will be tested in four hospitals in the State of Victoria, Australia. Nursing staff will be trained in primary (the first 8 min) responses to emergencies in two medical wards using a face-to-face approach and in two medical wards using a web-based version FIRST(2)ACTWeb. The impact of these interventions will be determined through quantitative and qualitative approaches, cost analyses and patient notes review (time series analyses) to measure quality of care and patient outcomes.
In this 18 month study it is hypothesised that both simulation programs will improve the detection and management of deteriorating patients but that the web-based program will have lower total costs. The study will also add to our overall understanding of the utility of simulation approaches in the preparation of nurses working in hospital wards.