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2016 Abstracts

Improvement of Care in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit through Family Feedback

Avani Latchireddi, Wade Mather, and Joseph Tonna, University of Utah

Life Sciences


This research project is to assess patient satisfaction and feedback around care provided in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at the University of Utah Hospital with the goal of iterative improvement of care.

Research Question/Hypothesis

We hypothesize that by assessing patient satisfaction of ICU care, we can implement directed changes targeting patient-identified concerns.


A survey of 37 questions, based on a validated national survey of family satisfaction with ICU care (FSICU-24) was put together addressing issues ranging from emotional care to technical aspects of the SICU experience on a whole. It is administered to the family member who was most involved in the patients care in the Surgical ICU after transfer out of the ICU. All the data is securely maintained and analyzed through a REDCap database for the purposes of quality improvement.


Over the initial weeks of administration, a few observations for improvement opportunities have been repetitive.

  • Many patients and family members highly appreciate their attending doctors but cannot keep track of their names with the many teams of doctors.
  • Having a time frame in which the doctor would arrive on rounds such that the family member can be present would be very helpful.
  • The family members of patients sometimes feel uncared for in the SICU. Many would appreciate having someone show them the cafeteria or simply ask them if they need anything in particular.
  • The plan of the day sheet (checklist as well as a list of the medical plan the team intends to follow) is often not given and/or explained to the patient and their family.


The following changes will be considered for feasibility of implementation. Surveys will be continuously administered in order to observe the effect the implemented changes have had. For example, changes might include the nurses explaining the plan of the day sheet to the patient and their family after the doctor has stated the plan of care; having picture cards of doctors with their name and photo would help patients and families better identify their caregivers; a volunteer could go around the ICU once a day and ask if the family has any needs. The expectation is to see improved patient and family satisfaction in those selected areas.