The use of a daily goals sheet to improve communication in the paediatric intensive care unit

Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2007 Oct;23(5):264-71. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2007.02.001. Epub 2007 Apr 16.


Objective: To assess the impact of the implementation of a daily goals sheet upon nursing perception of communication in an academic, tertiary care paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Design: Prospective, longitudinal, before-and-after intervention surveys.

Setting: University affiliated 12-bed PICU.

Subjects: Bedside nurses.

Interventions: A questionnaire was administered to PICU nurses addressing their perception of communication. Following this questionnaire, the use of a daily goals sheet was instituted. A second questionnaire was administered one year later. Mann-Whitney Rank Sum Test was used to compare differences of the graded outcome variables.

Measurements and main results: The primary outcome was the perception of communication taken from a nursing perspective. Eighty-five percent of nurses felt the daily goals sheet led to improved communication between physicians and nurses in the PICU. All questions related to communication demonstrated a positive influence of the goals sheet, with the perception of the PICU staff working as a team reaching statistical significance (p=0.05). The perception of the care of one surgical service being attending physician directed also significantly improved after the institution of the goals sheet (p=0.04).

Conclusion: The institution of a daily goals sheet led to an improvement in nursing perception of communication. Future studies are required to determine if this change in process has a demonstrable effect on health care outcomes of critically ill children, or whether this tool can have the same beneficial effects in other academic and non-academic PICUs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Audiovisual Aids
  • Child
  • Communication*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Critical Care / organization & administration
  • Goals
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / organization & administration*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Nursing Evaluation Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Records*
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / organization & administration
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology*
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration*
  • Pediatric Nursing / organization & administration
  • Pennsylvania
  • Program Evaluation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management / organization & administration