Using the Delphi method to develop nursing‐sensitive quality indicators for the NICU
Aims and objectives To develop nursing‐sensitive quality indicators consistent with current medical practices in Chinese neonatal intensive care units. Background The development of nursing‐sensitive quality indicators has become a top priority in nursing management. To the best of our knowledge, there has been no objective, scientific and sensitive evaluation of the quality of neonatal intensive care unit nursing in China. Design A modified Delphi technique was used to seek opinions from experts about what should be used and prioritised as indicators of quality care in neonatal intensive care unit nursing. Methods Based on a literature review, we identified 21 indicators of nursing‐sensitive quality in the neonatal intensive care unit. Our group of 11 consultants chose 13 indicators to be discussed using the Delphi method. In October and November 2014, 39 neonatal intensive care unit experts in 18 tertiary hospitals spread across six provinces participated in two rounds of Delphi panels. Results Of the 13 indicators discussed, 11 were identified as indicators of nursing‐sensitive quality in the neonatal intensive care unit: rate of nosocomial infections, rate of accidental endotracheal extubation, rate of errors in medication administration, rate of treatment for pain, rate of peripheral venous extravasation, rate of compliance with handwashing techniques, incidence of pressure ulcers, incidence of noise, the bed‐to‐care ratio, the proportion of nurses with greater than five years neonatal intensive care unit experience and incidence of retinopathy. Conclusions The 11 neonatal intensive care unit nursing‐sensitive indicators identified by the Delphi method integrated with basic Chinese practices provide a basis for nursing management and the monitoring of nursing quality. Relevance to clinical practice This study identified nursing‐sensitive quality indicators for neonatal intensive care unit care that are suitable for current clinical practice in China.
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