Preventing and managing constipation in older inpatients.

Link to article at PubMed

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Preventing and managing constipation in older inpatients.

Int J Health Care Qual Assur. 2018 Jun 11;31(5):415-419

Authors: Osuafor CN, Enduluri SL, Travers E, Bennett AM, Deveney E, Ali S, McCarthy F, Fan CW

Abstract
Purpose Constipation in hospitalised older adults leads to adverse events and prolonged stay. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to effectively prevent and manage constipation in older adults undergoing inpatient rehabilitation using a multidisciplinary war on constipation (WOC) algorithm. Design/methodology/approach A quality improvement project in older adults undergoing rehabilitation for prevention and constipation management was conducted. Quality improvement "plan-do-study-act" cycles included an initial constipation audit in the wards and meetings with the multidisciplinary team (MDT) to develop an algorithm for the preventing, detecting and effectively treating constipation. Findings The project resulted in a 14 per cent reduction in constipation incidence after the newly developed WOC algorithm was introduced. The project also improved communication between patients and the MDT around patients' bowel habits. Practical implications The project shows that using quality improvement methods in rehabilitation settings, earlier detection, earlier intervention and overall reduction in constipation in older adults can be achieved. Originality/value The WOC algorithm has been developed and institutionalised in the current setting. This algorithm may also be applicable in other inpatient settings.

PMID: 29865964 [PubMed - in process]

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