Exploring hospital nurses’ transitional medication management for older patients with multi-morbidity: An ethnographic study

Nordic Journal of Nursing Research(2021)

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Transitional medication management, in which individual needs are balanced against organizational priorities, is crucial for safe discharge processes. The aim of this study was to explore hospital nurses’ transitional medication management in the discharge of older patients with multi-morbidity. Using an ethnographic approach the data were collected through participant observations at a mixed medical ward at a Danish university hospital for two weeks. The participants were five registered nurses, responsible for nursing care of 23 patients with multi-morbidity and planned for discharge. The data comprised field notes that were analysed using iterative processes of domain, taxonomic and component analysis. The reporting adhered to the COREQ checklist. Hospital nurses’ transitional medication management was characterized by unpredictability and inconsistency in patient situations, fragmentation and discontinuity in working processes and complexity in communication systems. Special attention to nurses’ needs assessment skills and clinical decision making in caring for patients with multi-morbidity in a single focused healthcare system is required.
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