Improving Family Meetings in Intensive Care Units: A Quality Improvement Curriculum
Family meetings in the intensive care unit are associated with beneficial outcomes for patients, their families, and health care systems, yet these meetings often do not occur in a timely, effective, reliable way.Objective
The Department of Veterans Affairs Comprehensive End-of-Life Care Implementation Center sponsored a national initiative to improve family meetings in Veterans Affairs intensive care units across the United States. Process measures of success for the initiative were identified, including development of a curriculum to support facility-based quality improvement projects to implement high-quality family meetings.Methods
Identified curriculum requirements included suitability for distance learning and applicability to many clinical intensive care units. Curriculum modules were cross-mapped to the “Plan-Do-Study-Act” model to aid in planning quality improvement projects. A questionnaire was e-mailed to users to evaluate the curriculum's effectiveness.Results
Users rated the curriculum's effectiveness in supporting and achieving aims of the initiative as 3.6 on a scale of 0 (not effective) to 4 (very effective). Users adapted the curriculum to meet local needs. The number of users increased from 6 to 17 quality improvement teams in 2 years. All but 3 teams progressed to implementation of an action plan.Conclusion
Users were satisfied with the effectiveness and adaptability of a family-meeting quality improvement curriculum to support implementation of a quality improvement project in Veterans Affairs intensive care units. This tool may be useful in facilitating projects to improve the quality of family meetings in other intensive care units.