Nurses' just-in-time training for clinical deterioration: Development, implementation and evaluation

Rick C. Peebles, Imogen K. Nicholson, Jordana Schlieff, Amanda Peat, David J. Brewster

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: ‘Just-in-time training’ is an innovative approach to nursing education. It has demonstrated positive outcomes in other industries, such as manufacturing and aviation, but it has limited published application in the acute-care setting. Objectives: We aimed to implement and evaluate a nursing ‘just-in-time training’ program for the recognition and response to patient deterioration. Design: To promote consistency, one Clinical Deterioration Educator provided education to nursing staff in both recognising the need for escalation and providing subsequent care for the deteriorating ward patient. Nurses' perception of the ‘just-in-time training’ program was determined using electronic questionnaire responses. Medical Emergency Team call prevalence and outcome data was compared before and after the program implementation for further evaluation. Setting: The ‘just-in-time training’ program was implemented in a 508-bed acute metropolitan private hospital over a 12-month period. Education was provided in general medical and surgical wards, not specialty areas. Participants: Nurses received the just-in-time training based on their patients' perceived risk of deterioration, therefore, participants are not randomised. Methods: A quantitative research study investigated nurses' self-perceived confidence after receiving just-in-time training. Medical Emergency Team call frequency data was also examined to identify trends. Results: The ‘just-in-time training’ program consisted of 534 bedside nursing encounters over 12 months. During the study, the need for the educator to recommend that nurses escalate care reduced in prevalence from 20% to 5.5%. Questionnaire responses demonstrated a self-perceived confidence following intervention of 4.32/5.0. Medical Emergency Team call prevalence, per 1000 patient bed days, increased from 13.6 pre-intervention to 15.4 post-intervention. Conclusions: Just-in-time training’ can be effectively implemented to educate ward nursing staff in recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient. The program is well received by nursing staff and leads to high self-perceived confidence to recognise and appropriately care for a deteriorating patient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104265
Number of pages5
JournalNurse Education Today
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

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