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Adult nursing
Failure to rescue: optimising nursing assessment and surveillance has the potential to improve outcomes for deteriorating patients with multimorbidity
  1. Elizabeth Elder1,2,3,
  2. Rachel Muir1,2,4
  1. 1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2Emergency Department, Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Southport, Queensland, Australia
  3. 3Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Griffith University Faculty of Health, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
  4. 4Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing Midwifery and Palliative Care, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Elder, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; e.elder{at}griffith.edu.au

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Commentary on: Douglas C, Alexeev S, Middleton S, Gardner G, Kelly P, McInnes E, et al. Transforming nursing assessment in acute hospitals: A cluster randomised controlled trial of an evidence-based nursing core assessment (the ENCORE trial). International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2024. 2024;151:104690.

Implications for practice and research

  • Introducing training to enhance manual nursing assessment and surveillance has the potential to improve outcomes for hospitalised patients with multimorbidity.

  • Further research is needed to establish which aspects of nursing assessment and surveillance are essential to improving recognition and response to clinical deterioration.

Context

Failure to identify and respond to deteriorating patients is a significant and complex clinical safety issue. There is a growing body of international research evidence which has identified the importance of system and human factors in ‘failure to rescue’ events.1 Yet, despite the widespread adoption of rapid response and early warning systems, ‘failure to rescue’ remains a widespread safety concern. Ward-based nursing assessments are often reactive …

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Footnotes

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests RM has published 1 previous paper with E McInnes, but has not had any involvement with this research or any subsequent research.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.