Changing nursing practice--trisectoral collaboration in decision making.
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In an age of cost containment, agency partnerships have become an essential element for future planning and program implementation. This paper describes a trisectoral collaboration of a hospital, health department, university and school of nursing to compare the efficacy and efficiency of referral decisions of hospital staff nurses to those of the public health liaison nurses (LNs). A process to identify decision criteria was undertaken and an educational programme was designed to assist the staff nurses with the referral process and to assure consistency of decision making. The two groups were then compared. The results of the study found staff nurses, using the decision criteria, identified more patients who required public health nursing visits than did the liaison nurses, refusal rate of the patients to participate was no different, staff nurses cost less than LNs and job satisfaction was not significantly altered for either group. In addition to providing information to guide administrative and clinical decision making, the project also provided a learning experience for the staff of three agencies in conducting research and in using evidence-based practice to change traditional practice.
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