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Multicenter Study
. 2019 Dec;47(12):1692-1698.
doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004009.

Promoting Family Engagement in the ICU: Experience From a National Collaborative of 63 ICUs

Multicenter Study

Promoting Family Engagement in the ICU: Experience From a National Collaborative of 63 ICUs

Ruth Kleinpell et al. Crit Care Med. .


Objectives: As part of an improvement program targeting ICU, a national collaborative was launched to help hospitals implement patient- and family-centered care engagement initiatives.

Design: Ten-month quality improvement collaborative.

Setting: Guided by a national patient and family advisory group, participating teams implemented an individual project including open visitation; integrating families on rounds; establishing a patient and family advisory committee; using patient and family diaries, among others.

Subjects: Sixty-three adult and PICU teams from both academic and community hospitals in 34 states participated.

Interventions: Monthly team calls, quarterly webinars, newsletters, an online eCommunity, and team reporting assignments were used to facilitate project implementation.

Measurements and main results: The Family Satisfaction with Care in the ICU 24 was used to assess family satisfaction. Clinician perceptions were assessed with the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care Self-Assessment Inventory. Thematic analysis was used to explore narrative data captured from team reports of project barriers, facilitators, and the experience of participating in the collaborative. A total of 2,530 family member and 3,999 clinician surveys were completed. Postimplementation, family members reported statistically significant increases in overall family satisfaction, satisfaction with decision-making, and satisfaction with quality of care (Family Satisfaction with Care in the ICU mean score change range 0.83-1.24; p ≤ 0.027). Clinicians reported that opportunities for families to participate as members of the care team increased. Major barriers included lack of buy-in and ability to promote change in the clinical setting, managing the workload of implementation, and funding to support initiatives.

Conclusions: A national collaborative format was useful to assist ICU teams to implement patient- and family-engagement initiatives. Enlisting stakeholder support, engaging unit-based champions, and highlighting benefits of family engagement can help ICU teams to promote family member involvement and engagement.

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