Identifying Information Resources for Patients in the Intensive Care Unit and Their Families.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Providing information to patients in intensive care units and their families is challenging. Patients often are admitted unexpectedly and experience stress and uncertainty. One source of stress has been identified as unclear, uncoordinated, or inconsistent communication and information. Despite the need for information, no centrally located, easily accessible, standardized intensive care unit education content exists.

OBJECTIVE

To identify educational content for patients in the intensive care unit and their families across 4 different hospitals, develop a general content database, and organize the general content into a framework for education of patients and their families.

METHODS

Educational content for patients in the intensive care units of 4 participating hospitals was collected and a gap analysis was performed.

RESULTS

Key content format and categories were identified. Educational content was organized into an information pathway divided into 3 phases: intensive care unit arrival; understanding the intensive care unit and partnering in care; and intensive care unit transitions. The gap analysis revealed substantial variation in content format and categories.

CONCLUSIONS

Structuring a digital learning center using different stages of the patient's stay in the intensive care unit and placing resources in the context of an information pathway can help coordinate education for these patients and their families, and creates a consistent communication guide for clinicians as well. The optimal digital format should be considered in designing the learning center.

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