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Publication date

Implementation and use of point-of-care C-reactive protein testing in nursing homes.

Boere, T.M., Hopstaken, R.M., Tulder, M.W. van, Schellevis, F.G., Verheij, T.J.M., Hertogh, C.M.P.M., Buul, L.W. van. Implementation and use of point-of-care C-reactive protein testing in nursing homes. Journal of the American Medical Directors Association: 2022, 23(6), p. 968-975.e3
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Objectives
This study evaluated logistics, process data, and barriers/facilitators for the implementation and use of C-reactive protein point-of-care testing (CRP POCT) for suspected lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in nursing home (NH) residents.

Design
This process evaluation was performed alongside a cluster randomized, controlled trial (UPCARE study) to evaluate the effect of CRP POCT on antibiotic prescribing for suspected LRTIs in NH residents.

Setting and participants
Eleven NHs in the Netherlands.

Methods
Data sources for process data regarding intervention quality included a questionnaire among NH staff, logs, reports, and CRP POCT-analyzer records. Barriers and facilitators for implementation were assessed in focus group interviews with physicians and nurses from 3 NHs.

Results
Correct patient selection for CRP POCT and generally continued CRP POCT use indicated good fidelity. The initial training and training of new employees seemed to fit the need, but some POCT-user group sizes had increased over time, which could have impeded frequent use. Users were generally satisfied with CRP POCT and perceived its use feasible and relevant. Facilitators for implementation were initial commitment and active initiation, followed by continued attention and enthusiasm for building routine practice and trust. Short lines of communication between staff, short distance to the POCT-analyzer, 24/7 coverage of staff, and a clear task division facilitated continued attention and routine practice.

Conclusions and implications
This process evaluation showed sufficient quality of providing CRP POCT in Dutch NHs. We processed findings of intervention quality and implementation knowledge into key recommendations for CRP POCT implementation in this setting. Future research could focus on CRP POCT use in countries with different organization of care in NHs.