Research team

Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC)

Expertise

Research topics are focused within health services and outcomes research in all domains (acute care, mental health care, residential aged care and primary care) such a research program around nurse practice environments and psychosocial environments of healthcare workers related to various patient outcomes; implementation of improvement initiatives related to quality and patient safety and managers’ role and leadership in healthcare settings. In addition, special interest goes to care for people with dementia studying non-pharmacological treatments and person-center care delivery.

Chair Province Antwerp Healthcare Professions in Evolution 01/09/2021 - 25/08/2025

Abstract

Within the framework of the Chair of the Province of Antwerp – Healthcare professions in evolution - PAZOE, financed by the partnership between the Province of Antwerp, Governor Kinsbergen Center (GKC) and University of Antwerp, we are investigating the important dropout and outflow within healthcare professions. More specifically, how the care and welfare sector can deal with the capacity shortages of careproviders in combination with the growing and changing demand for care from society. The healthcare sector is undergoing many changes and is also facing major challenges in the province of Antwerp. The transition from (health)care education to the labor market is difficult. As a result, there are staff shortages. On the other hand, the demand for care from society is increasing due to more chronic, complex care and the increasing aging of the population. Using mixed-method research methods, as well as implementation research, we will (1) analyze and synthesize existing initiatives on working and learning differently within the healthcare sector; (2) build a learning network; (3) roll out three pilot projects based on the initial analysis, supported by the learning network, initially in the primary care zones Middenkempen and De Rupelaar. The chair also wants to ensure a connection between various ongoing projects in interprofessional collaboration between professionals and organizations in the healthcare sector.

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Retention in Care (Interreg-project) 01/04/2021 - 31/12/2022

Abstract

For years, the care sector has been struggling: vacancies are not filled and care courses are also understaffed. On top of that, the perception of working in care, especially in residential care, has deteriorated as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to a persistent imbalance between the inflow and outflow of personnel, the pressure on the existing workforce has sharply increased. In the Netherlands, the metaphor of the colander is used for this: the inflow of care personnel is in order while the outflow remains unchanged. Blijf aan Z wants to reduce this outflow by focusing on the current care professionals so that they can remain at work as long as possible and long-term absenteeism can be minimised. The project wants to promote sustainable and high-quality employment, resulting in a lower turnover, a positive image of working in the care sector and better support for younger employees and those returning to work. Specifically, an analysis of the problem will be carried out and predictors of outflow and dropout will be identified. A 'dashboard' will monitor these predictors for the partners involved. In addition, Team Champions will be installed and educated in the form of a train-the-trainer programme. The team members are the change managers who intervene from within to increase (team) resilience and reduce retention. As a final aspect, a Community of Practice (COP) is started in which managers of care workers share and learn about leading workplace cultures in which care workers want to (continue to) work. This self-directed development programme significantly broadens the horizons of the participants by placing them in a learning environment with others of similar functions/roles but in totally different contexts.

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ZORO - workforce in healthcare 05/04/2019 - 04/04/2024

Abstract

Identify and develop competencies in primary healthcare for practice and education programs in Flanders and the Netherlands about (1) entrepeneurship, (2) inteprofessional collaboration (3) applying technology and (4) ethical decision making in care processes for (licensed practice, diplome and bachelor) nurses as well as other qualifications in care providers such as nurse aids.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC)

Project website

Balance Nursing Teams (BNUT): A Computerized Decision Support Instrument for organizing care teams. 01/05/2020 - 31/12/2021

Abstract

The nursing shortage is an international phenomenon with wide-reaching implications for healthcare. The WHO estimated a 7.6 million shortfall in nurses by 2030. Attracting and, most importantly, retaining nurses is a global challenge. In Belgium, there is a chronic shortage in nurses and allied staff throughout all healthcare sectors. Moreover, because patient care is becoming more complex, there is an increasing need for sufficient, qualified and well-trained staff that can be assigned in changing environments. Policy makers are addressing the need for qualified staff by increasing the numbers of nurses entering the workplace. However, increasing the supply of nurses is insufficient to address the current staffing problems in healthcare. Organisations should also focus on methods to retain experienced personnel. However, organisations are not always well equipped to estimate if care teams are working optimally. To estimate the ideal composition of care teams, organisations apply patient assessment systems estimating acuity and care needs. However, these systems lack contextual information and need adjustment by management to be used for staff deployment. Because of the pressing shortage in nurses, organisations search for an optimal allocation of nurses across care teams. It is known that nurses sometimes are undertaking work that could be done by other caretakers. However, an optimal proportion of highly educated nurses is essential to provide high-quality care. It seems very difficult to acquire an optimally composed care team aiming for retention of staff and ensuring the quality of care. A report by the department of health by the Irish government recommended the development of software package using an evidence-based approach to assist in decisions on nurse staffing and skill-mix. The Chief Nursing Officers workgroup of Zorgnet-Icuro, a Flemish member organisation including 94 hospitals and 332 nursing homes, identified a strong need for the development of a standardised method to objectively allocate nurses and other care professionals to care teams taking into account the assigned governmental budget (Flemish and/or Federal). The project aim is to develop and study a computerised decision support instrument (CDSI), Balance Nursing Teams or BNUT, as a proof of concept, to support decisions concerning the allocation, monitoring and benchmarking of nursing care composition including numbers, qualification and competencies (skill mix) as well as additional roles related to care demands. The project is focussed on nursing care teams in acute care and psychiatric hospital as well as long-term facilities and primary care. BNUT discriminates and predicts the balance of care teams, in a continuum from negative imbalance, balance to positive imbalance, between supply and organisation of human resources including their capacity, efficiency and reliability and patient care needs and demands. During a conceptual phase of 10 months, the CDSI BNUT will be developed to Technology Readiness Level 4 (June 2020) and was financed externally. In the next phase, which will last 18 months (proof of concept A), BNUT will be developed further to implement in practice aiming for Technology Readiness Level 7 and operating at a pre-commercial scale guided by an internal and external technological and scientific validation process. In addition, the CDSI will be integrated as a Software as a Service (SaaS) product in order to assure the provision and dissemination in Belgian healthcare services. Lastly, BNUT will be prepared for full commercial international application reaching Technological Readiness Level 9.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC)

Decision support instrument balance nursing teams (BNUT). 01/09/2019 - 30/06/2020

Abstract

The project aim is to develop and study a computerized decision support instrument (CDSI), Balance Nursing Teams or BNUT, as a proof of concept, to support decisions about the allocation, monitoring and benchmarking of nursing care composition concerning numbers, qualification and competencies (skills mix) as well as additional roles related to patient care demands. The project focus is on nursing care teams in acute care and psychiatric hospital as well as long-term facilities and home care. BNUT discriminates and predicts the balance of care teams, in a continuum from negative imbalance, balance to positive imbalance, between supply and organization of human resources including their capacity, efficiency and reliability and patient care needs and demands. During a conceptual phase of 10 months, the CDSI BNUT wil be developed to Technology Readiness Level 4 (June 2020).

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

  • Centre for Research and Innovation in Care (CRIC)

BFM B4 alarm intervention study. 01/02/2014 - 31/12/2014

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand UZA. UA provides UZA research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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