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Interdependencies or integration? A qualitative evaluation of a national emergency department improvement programme

Katie Jones (Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Jaynie Y. Rance (College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)

Journal of Integrated Care

ISSN: 1476-9018

Article publication date: 4 August 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

In Wales (United Kingdom (UK)), a programme known as the emergency department quality and delivery framework (EDQDF) was launched in 2018 with the purpose of designing a framework of what good looks like for emergency care and then implementing this framework in a measurable and sustainable way.

Design/methodology/approach

A gatekeeper emailed attendees of the EDQDF launch event (n = 70), providing recipients with an information sheet and inviting them to contact the researcher (KJ) if they agreed to be interviewed. The authors conducted semi-structured interviews with all respondents (n = 8) after three invitation rounds sent between August and October 2021. The authors used a thematic analysis approach (Braun and Clarke, 2006).

Findings

Participants agreed with the aims and design of the framework, and the authors identified four themes relating to barriers and to facilitators of implementation. Participants perceive a softening of geographical boundaries through the project, but findings correspond with evidence generated elsewhere regarding emergency departments’ (EDs') system-wide interdependencies and a need for cross-organisational collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

A quality improvement method for health services known as CAREMORE® is found to be a useful approach for the collaborative design of service improvements. Participants perceive a softening of geographical boundaries through the project, but the interviews correspond with evidence generated elsewhere regarding EDs' system-wide interdependencies and a need for cross-organisational collaboration.

Practical implications

This evaluation relies on a relatively small number of participants, but as a qualitative evaluation it does not aim towards broadly generalisable findings but rather contributes to broad field concerned with the production of knowledge on the implementation of health service improvements. The project under evaluation is also on-going, and the findings reflect the period from inception to December 2021, but not beyond that date.

Originality/value

This evaluation builds upon previous work in relation to the application of CAREMORE to design a quality improvement framework in a complex area (see Nelson et al., 2018), but this evaluation considers the implementation process. The findings echo research elsewhere and add to a growing body of research that underlines system interconnectivities that impact upon the emergency department.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank those who generously shared their perspectives and gave their time to participate in this evaluation.

Funding: One post-doctoral researcher post at Swansea University was funded by the NCCU; the evaluation was independent and led by Swansea University.

Citation

Jones, K. and Rance, J.Y. (2022), "Interdependencies or integration? A qualitative evaluation of a national emergency department improvement programme", Journal of Integrated Care, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICA-04-2022-0026

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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