School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Improving plan of care communication between primary resident teams and nursing staff

Document Type

Poster

Keywords

patient safety; communication; nurse; doctor

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ineffective communication between physicians and nurses can compromise patient care. The aim of this project was to encourage resident physicians to provide daily, verbal updates to nursing staff regarding their patients' daily plan of care.

METHODS

The study took place at the George Washington University Hospital. It involved five internal medicine resident teams and the nursing staff on 4-South. Baseline data was collected with a questionnaire that assessed the number of patients that the nurses received a verbal plan of care. PDSA cycle 1 was distributing the nursing radio frequency phone numbers to the residents before morning rounds, and PDSA cycle 2 was posting a written reminder in the team rooms to call with the following details: diagnosis, goals for the day, labs or procedures, and discharge status. Post-intervention data was obtained with the same questionnaire used at baseline.

RESULTS

Our data did not show a significant increase in the amount of plan of care updates given by the resident teams to the nursing staff. Baseline and intervention data were each collected over a course of 4 days. At baseline, there were a total of 5 reports called to the 31 nurses that completed the survey. During PDSA cycle 1 and 2, a total of 7 reports and 5 reports were called to the 33 and 36 nurses who filled out the survey, respectively. Of note, a separate survey was performed amongst the nursing staff identify the specifics to include in the plan of care update.

CONCLUSION

The benefits of constructive communication between physicians and nurses is well established in both medical and nursing literature. Literature reviews have found that physicians and nurses hold different attitudes regarding the importance and quality of such collaboration (1). Our experiences underscore this effect when considering the differences in what physicians felt was most important (providing a daily care plan update) and what nurses felt was most important (and expanded list, covering diagnosis, lab and procedure updates, and discharge planning). High workloads and burnout (2) are commonplace in residency, and may have had an adverse effect as resident physicians may have felt too overburdened to take on any additional responsibilities or allocate any more time from their already long work days to engage in collaborative efforts with the nursing staff. Future research should focus on the barriers to physician-nurse communication and collaboration, and identify ways to address them.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Open Access

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Comments

Poster to be presented at GW Annual Research Days 2017.

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Improving plan of care communication between primary resident teams and nursing staff

BACKGROUND

Ineffective communication between physicians and nurses can compromise patient care. The aim of this project was to encourage resident physicians to provide daily, verbal updates to nursing staff regarding their patients' daily plan of care.

METHODS

The study took place at the George Washington University Hospital. It involved five internal medicine resident teams and the nursing staff on 4-South. Baseline data was collected with a questionnaire that assessed the number of patients that the nurses received a verbal plan of care. PDSA cycle 1 was distributing the nursing radio frequency phone numbers to the residents before morning rounds, and PDSA cycle 2 was posting a written reminder in the team rooms to call with the following details: diagnosis, goals for the day, labs or procedures, and discharge status. Post-intervention data was obtained with the same questionnaire used at baseline.

RESULTS

Our data did not show a significant increase in the amount of plan of care updates given by the resident teams to the nursing staff. Baseline and intervention data were each collected over a course of 4 days. At baseline, there were a total of 5 reports called to the 31 nurses that completed the survey. During PDSA cycle 1 and 2, a total of 7 reports and 5 reports were called to the 33 and 36 nurses who filled out the survey, respectively. Of note, a separate survey was performed amongst the nursing staff identify the specifics to include in the plan of care update.

CONCLUSION

The benefits of constructive communication between physicians and nurses is well established in both medical and nursing literature. Literature reviews have found that physicians and nurses hold different attitudes regarding the importance and quality of such collaboration (1). Our experiences underscore this effect when considering the differences in what physicians felt was most important (providing a daily care plan update) and what nurses felt was most important (and expanded list, covering diagnosis, lab and procedure updates, and discharge planning). High workloads and burnout (2) are commonplace in residency, and may have had an adverse effect as resident physicians may have felt too overburdened to take on any additional responsibilities or allocate any more time from their already long work days to engage in collaborative efforts with the nursing staff. Future research should focus on the barriers to physician-nurse communication and collaboration, and identify ways to address them.