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The effectiveness of clinical networks in improving quality of care and patient outcomes: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies

Overview of attention for article published in BMC Health Services Research, August 2016
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Title
The effectiveness of clinical networks in improving quality of care and patient outcomes: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies
Published in
BMC Health Services Research, August 2016
DOI 10.1186/s12913-016-1615-z
Pubmed ID
Authors

Bernadette Bea Brown, Cyra Patel, Elizabeth McInnes, Nicholas Mays, Jane Young, Mary Haines

Abstract

Reorganisation of healthcare services into networks of clinical experts is increasing as a strategy to promote the uptake of evidence based practice and to improve patient care. This is reflected in significant financial investment in clinical networks. However, there is still some question as to whether clinical networks are effective vehicles for quality improvement. The aim of this systematic review was to ascertain the effectiveness of clinical networks and identify how successful networks improve quality of care and patient outcomes. A systematic search was undertaken in accordance with the PRISMA approach in Medline, Embase, CINAHL and PubMed for relevant papers between 1 January 1996 and 30 September 2014. Established protocols were used separately to examine and assess the evidence from quantitative and qualitative primary studies and then integrate findings. A total of 22 eligible studies (9 quantitative; 13 qualitative) were included. Of the quantitative studies, seven focused on improving quality of care and two focused on improving patient outcomes. Quantitative studies were limited by a lack of rigorous experimental design. The evidence indicates that clinical networks can be effective vehicles for quality improvement in service delivery and patient outcomes across a range of clinical disciplines. However, there was variability in the networks' ability to make meaningful network- or system-wide change in more complex processes such as those requiring intensive professional education or more comprehensive redesign of care pathways. Findings from qualitative studies indicated networks that had a positive impact on quality of care and patients outcomes were those that had adequate resources, credible leadership and efficient management coupled with effective communication strategies and collaborative trusting relationships. There is evidence that clinical networks can improve the delivery of healthcare though there are few high quality quantitative studies of their effectiveness. Our findings can provide policymakers with some insight into how to successfully plan and implement clinical networks by ensuring strong clinical leadership, an inclusive organisational culture, adequate resourcing and localised decision-making authority.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 2 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 65 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 65 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 20 31%
Researcher 10 15%
Student > Bachelor 9 14%
Unspecified 8 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 7 11%
Other 11 17%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 17 26%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 23%
Unspecified 9 14%
Business, Management and Accounting 8 12%
Social Sciences 5 8%
Other 11 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 1. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 17 September 2016.
All research outputs
#6,068,500
of 8,392,157 outputs
Outputs from BMC Health Services Research
#2,479
of 3,129 outputs
Outputs of similar age
#163,874
of 252,826 outputs
Outputs of similar age from BMC Health Services Research
#168
of 199 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 8,392,157 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 24th percentile – i.e., 24% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
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