Weinberg Surgical Intensive Care Unit Wins Family-Centered Care Award

family centered edit 2The Weinberg surgical intensive care unit (WICU) at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, received this year’s Family-Centered Care Innovation Award in recognition of the unit’s novel and effective methods for providing care to critically ill and injured patients and their families.

From its inception, the WICU has acknowledged the vital role of “the expert in the room” — the patient’s family. To this end, the unit has offered round-the-clock visiting hours and included families on daily rounds. During these rounds, family members are encouraged to join a standing circle with physicians and nurses, sometimes around the patient’s bed. The WICU staff also will bring family members to the bedside during emergency situations, if they wish.

From 2008 to 2010, the WICU team developed and launched the Family Meeting Project, in which the family of any patient who has been on the unit for more than seven days meets formally with the patient’s surgeon, intensivist, nurse, and social worker for a status update and to discuss care goals and next steps. Families can continue to request these meetings, since care goals and outcomes may shift the longer patients remain in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Building on the Family Meeting Project, the WICU Family Involvement Menu was created and piloted. As part of this initiative, family members are invited to choose from 10 daily care activities in which they can participate, with options ranging from shaving or feeding assistance to pillow repositioning or range-of-motion exercises. The family is also encouraged to suggest any assistance that may not be listed. Nurses provide instruction and supervision for all daily care, although family members often become adept enough to handle the activities on their own. To develop the menu, staff were asked to reflect on what they would want if they were ICU patients and to consider the most appropriate for family participation. At the same time, the WICU team surveyed 12 families on their interest in becoming more involved in their loved ones’ daily needs.

The results have been “nothing short of stunning,” said team leader and former WICU nurse clinician Rhonda Malone Wyskiel, BSN, RN.

It is time again to nominate a unit or program for the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Family-Centered Care Innovation Award.  If you know a unit or program that demonstrates novel, effective methods for providing care to critically ill and injured patients and their families, nominate them today.

Additional SCCM Awards

The Society offers numerous awards that recognize dedication and contributions to the field of critical care. Nominate yourself or a colleague, or recognize your entire ICU team. Most award recipients receive a complimentary registration to the 44th Critical Care Congress. Apply for these opportunities by August 1, 2014.

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