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Title: Improving communication of the daily care plan in a teaching hospital intensive care unit.
Austin Authors: Karalapillai, Dharshi ;Baldwin, Ian C ;Dunnachie, Gillian;Knott, Cameron;Eastwood, Glenn M ;Rogan, John;Carnell, Erin;Jones, Daryl A 
Affiliation: Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Issue Date: 1-Jun-2013
Publication information: Critical Care and Resuscitation; 15(2): 97-102
Abstract: Patients admitted to intensive care units have complex care needs. Accordingly, communication and handover of the medical care plan is very important.To assess changes in ICU nurses' understanding of the medical daily care plan after development and implementation of a pro forma to improve documentation and communication of the plan.The study was conducted between February and November 2012 in a mixed medical-surgical, 18-bed, closed ICU in a teaching hospital. Baseline and post-intervention surveys assessed ICU bedside nurses' self-reported understanding of elements of the daily care plan.After receiving input from bedside nurses and medical staff, we developed the daily care plan as a single-page pro forma for handwritten documentation of a clinical problems list, plan and interventions list, daily chest x-ray results, a modified FAST-HUG checklist, and discharge planning during the evening consultant ward round. The finalised pro forma was introduced on 25 July 2012.Introduction of the pro forma daily care plan was associated with marked and statistically significant improvements in nurses' self-reported understanding of a list of the patient's clinical problems, the management plan after the ward round, issues for discharge for the following day (all P < 0.001) and, to a lesser extent, the physiological targets and aims (P = 0.003) and interpretation of the daily chest x-ray (P < 0.001). In the post-intervention survey, only 4/118 free-text comments (3.4%) suggested that documentation of the plan was doctor-dependent, compared with 28/198 (14.1%) at baseline (P = 0.002).Introduction of a single-page, handwritten, structured daily care plan produced marked improvements in ICU nurses' self-reported understanding of elements of the medical plan, and may have reduced practice variation in medical plan documentation. The effects of this intervention on patient outcomes remain untested.
Gov't Doc #: 23931040
Journal: Critical Care and Resuscitation
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Communication
Health Services Needs and Demand
Hospitals, Teaching
Intensive Care Units
Needs Assessment.organization & administration
Nursing Staff,
Retrospective Studies
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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