The study examined the effect of adding a full-time family support coordinator to the surgical intensive care unit team on family satisfaction, length-of-stay, and cost in the surgical intensive care unit.
Design, Setting, and Patients:
A quasi-experimental design was conducted in two phases: baseline (8 mos) and intervention (10 mos) phases. Data on family satisfaction, length-of-stay, and costs from both phases were collected.
The intervention added a new role, the family support coordinator, to the surgical intensive care unit team. The family support coordinator functioned as a liaison between the patient’s family and the health care team.
Measurements and Main Results:
The results revealed that generally the intervention was associated with increases in family satisfaction with communication for all surgical intensive care unit team members, with physicians, social workers, and respiratory care therapists showing increases in significance. The largest increase was for physician communication (p = .0034). Families also rated their perceptions of the quality of care provided to their family members by various members of the surgical intensive care unit team. Mean ratings increased for all areas of care, with respiratory and nursing care showing the largest increases. Families’ perceptions of the care and treatment they received during the stay of their family member showed increases in all areas of satisfaction between baseline and intervention, particularly those areas most related to the intervention.
The implementation of the family support coordinator intervention increased family satisfaction across a range of parameters. Although there were decreases in length-of-stay and costs, they were not statistically significant. Further research is needed to determine whether intervention refinement could produce lower length-of-stay and costs.