Use of a standardized care communication checklist during multidisciplinary rounds in pediatric cardiac intensive care: a best practice implementation project

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Objectives:This project aimed to improve thoroughness and continuity of care of patients in a pediatric cardiac intensive care unit. Specific objectives were to increase support of clinical nurse and family participation in multidisciplinary rounds (MDR), as well as full use of a multi-component Complex Care Checklist (CCC) by all nurses in this unit.Introduction:Communication and collaboration are paramount for safe care and positive outcomes of critically ill patients hospitalized in intensive care units. Nurse participation in daily patient rounding enhances individualized goal-setting. Concomitant use of a communication checklist promotes comprehensive delivery of care.Methods:Evidence-based audit criteria were developed for this project which used the Joanna Briggs Institute Practical Application of Clinical Evidence System (JBI PACES) and Getting Research into Practice (GRiP) tools for promoting change in health practice. Direct observation of MDR processes was used to conduct a baseline and post-implementation audit. Intervention strategies relied primarily on nurse education tactics.Results:Although attending physicians’ and charge nurses’ support and facilitation of clinical nurse presence during MDR rose substantially to 95% compliance, only moderate compliance (67%) was demonstrated for clinical nurses’ attendance at and participation in MDR. Compliance with nurses’ report of the patient's daily care plan and completion of CCC components during MDR improved moderately (52% and 54%). Family attendance at MDR did not improve.Conclusions:Project aims of enhanced thoroughness and continuity of care of patients with congenital heart defects were realized through an improved MDR process enhanced with a care communication checklist and clinical nurse participation. With the support of attending physicians and charge nurses, clinical nurses felt more empowered to address care concerns during MDR. The project outcomes indicated further activities are needed to assist nurses with a higher level of participating in MDR and using the CCC to its full potential. Continued evolution of the rounding process is imperative to adapting to patient needs and improving care.

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