Improving Huntington’s Disease Education for New Staff in a Voluntary Mental Health Facility
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Huntington’s Disease (HD) is rare neuro-degenerative disease that affects over 700 people in Ireland with a further 9,000 requiring information, support and care. Given the rarity of HD it appears that more education for healthcare professionals is needed. Without this education, people with HD may not receive the high quality care they require. Using the DMAIC framework for quality improvement (QI), this project investigated the need for HD education for healthcare staff in a voluntary mental health service in Dublin. Utilising QI tools such as driver and swim lane diagrams, a fishbone diagram and staff survey, the primary drivers leading to lack of specific HD education were identified. The result of the staff survey highlighted that 92% (N=25) of respondents ‘Strongly agreed’ and ‘Agree’ that, there is a need for HD education for staff and only 24% ‘Strongly agreed’ that they received appropriate HD training and education for caring for patients with HD. The staff induction process was identified as a potential implementation area to address this problem. The QI plan proposes to introduce three improvement strategies to the induction process: online access to HD videos and other resources, the provision of original HD leaflets and HD caregiver handbooks published by Huntington’s disease Association of Ireland, and finally to provide a HD presentation during the staff induction process. As a result, it is hoped that if staff can understand how care unfolds in HD, they could be better equipped to address patients’ needs. Therefore, providing best practice and care to patients in this facility.