Objective: To describe changes in the health service delivery process experienced by professionals, patients and informal caregivers during implementation of a national programme to improve quality of care of geriatric rehabilitation by improving integration of health service delivery processes.
Study setting: Sixteen skilled nursing facilities.
Study design: Prospective study, comparing three consecutive cohorts.
Data collection: Professionals (elderly care physicians, physiotherapists and nursing staff) rated four domains of health service delivery at admission and at discharge of 1075 patients. In addition, these patients [median age 79 (Interquartile range 71–85) years, 63% females] and their informal caregivers rated their experiences on these domains 4 weeks after discharge.
Principal findings: During the three consecutive cohorts, professionals reported improvement on the domain team cooperation, including assessment for intensive treatment and information transfer among professionals. Fewer improvements were reported within the domains alignment with patients’ needs, care coordination and care quality. Between the cohorts, according to patients (n = 521) and informal caregivers (n = 319) there were no changes in the four domains of health service delivery.
Conclusion: This national programme resulted in small improvements in team cooperation as reported by the professionals. No effects were found on patients’ and informal caregivers’ perceptions of health service delivery.