Web-based ICU communication improves patient, provider satisfaction

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have developed a web-based program that uses team communication and engagement to improve patient experience and outcomes.

The project, called PROSPECT (Promoting Respect and Ongoing Safety through Patient Engagement Communication and Technology), is outlined in the recent issue of Critical Care Medicine. The platform includes shared checklists, health information and goals for the clinician and patient. The project aims to reduce adverse effects such as falls, ulcers and urinary tract infections as well as improving satisfaction rates and customizing care plans.

"Our goal was to shift our clinical thinking from 'What is the matter?' to discovering 'What matters to you?'" said Patricia Dykes, PhD, RN, a senior nurse scientist in the Center for Patient Safety, Research and Practice at BWH and lead author of the paper. "If we can effectively collaborate with our patients and their care partners and engage them in their care, then we have the potential to enhance the care, improve adherence to care plans, positively impact satisfaction rates and reduce healthcare costs."

The study enrolled 1,075 ICU patients and provided clinicians with 60-minute training sessions to properly utilize the toolkit. The toolkit included a web-based ICU safety checklist, which was updated in real-time with patient data through their electronic health record, and shared care planning and messaging tools.

Results showed ICU patients enrolled in the program experienced a 29 percent reduction in adverse events, improved patient satisfaction scores from 71.8 percent in the control group to 93 percent in the program group, and boosted clinician satisfaction from 84.3 to 90 percent.

"Daily use of the web-based safety checklist enables review of the critical care safety elements; patient goals, preferences, and priorities were systematically addressed. This review translated into routinely focusing on patients' concerns, updating the care plan and reviewing adherence with standard critical care safety elements," concluded the authors.