An intervention study to imporve the transfer of ICU patients to the ward - evaluation by ICU nurses.
ABSTRACT Introduction: This intervention study, directed towards patients' family members, examined the efficacy of a structured individualised method of patient transfer from the perspective of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses. A specifically designed brochure provided topics for the nurses to discuss in regards to patient transfer and was used by ICU nurses to guide their communication with family members and give information about impending transfer. Families retained the brochure which contained specific information hand written by the nurse. Method: An evaluation study using a nine-item questionnaire was used to appraise ICU nurses' perception of the usefulness of the structured transfer brochure to improve patient transfer from ICU to a general ward. Results: Of the original sample of 120 ICU nurses, 40 used the intervention and 33 completed the questionnaire. Respondents considered that the transfer process constituted a significant event for families who they considered fundamental to patient recovery. Communication about patient transfer was acknowledged as a sometimes overlooked aspect of ICU nurses' role. The nurses considered that the structured intervention assisted them by supporting and directing their discussion about patient transfer with family members. Around 95% of respondents indicated it provided a useful framework for them to use and recommended its introduction for all patient transfers from ICU. Conclusions: These positive results suggest that the ICU nurses felt supported by the brochure in their role of transferring patients. The topics covered promoted discussion and improved communication with family members. Further research with a larger sample size and multi-site design is recommended to further examine the efficacy of this intervention to the broader community of ICUs.
Australia Critical Care