Improving the care of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Khan, Ahsan Aftab, Nash, Edward F, Whitehouse, Joanna and Rashid, Rifat (2017) Improving the care of patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). BMJ open quality, 6 (2). e000020. ISSN 2399-6641.

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The West Midlands Adult Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Centre based at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital provides care for adults with CF in the West Midlands. People with CF are prone to pulmonary exacerbations, which often require inpatient admission for intravenous antibiotics. We observed that the admission process was efficient during working hours (9:00-17:00, Monday-Friday) when the CF team are routinely available, but out-of-working hours, there were delays in these patients being clerked and receiving their first antibiotic dose. We were concerned that this was resulting in quality and potential safety issues by causing delays in starting treatment and prolonging hospital inpatient stays. We therefore undertook a quality improvement project (QIP) aimed at addressing these issues. An initial survey showed median time to clerk of 5 hours, with 60% of patients missing their first dose of antibiotics and mean length of stay of 16 days.


We applied the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycle approach, with the first PDSA cycle involving raising awareness of the issue through education to doctors, nurses and patients.


This led to a reduction of median time to clerk from 5 to 2 hours with 23% of patients missing their first antibiotic dose and mean length of stay reducing to 14 days. The second cycle involved introducing an admissions checklist and displaying education posters around the hospital, resulting in median time to clerk remaining at 2 hours but only 20% of patients missing their first antibiotic dose and the mean length of stay remaining at 14 days.


This QIP has improved the out-of-hours admissions process for adults with CF in our centre. We plan to review the longer term effects of the project including sustainability, effects on clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Patients. Primary care. Medical profession. Forensic medicine
WI Digestive system. Gastroenterology
Divisions: Planned IP Care > Respiratory Medicine
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Mrs Yolande Brookes
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2017 09:57

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