In creating a new ICU many changes are occurring from the design and set up to the vision and mission. Now that the physical aspect of the unit has been discussed now it is time to look at the social aspects. Our hospital has adopted a patient center of care approach when caring for our patients. This model was developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), focuses on engaging the patient and their family as active members of the medical team and coordinating care around the goals of the patients.
This means exactly as it sounds, it is keeping the patient and family informed and involved in all the decisions affecting the patient. It gives patients autonomy and empowers them to choose what is best for them in their lives. From the family perspective this is including them in rounds with the physicians, presence during resuscitation, open visiting hours, spiritual support, support groups, and consults from other specialties such as palliative care when appropriate.
There are quite a few studies published and more coming out daily that show the positive effects of patient centered care outcomes. In order to make this initiative a success it is essential for the physicians and nurses to have excellent communication skills. Recognizing cues as to how the patient and their family members are coping with the diagnosis and stress. And be open to the questions that are presented to them. Through open communication and understanding this will make our unit a positive experience for our patients and families and staff.