Our physical therapists aspired to provide effective, evidence-based examination and interventions for patients who have difficulty weaning from ventilation in order to maximize function.
Acute physical therapy staff identified areas where improvements were needed, the challenges encountered when treatments are being provided for this patient population, and the goals for this project as well as potential solutions. Physical therapy staff was surveyed to discern their comfort level with progression of mobility with patients using ventilators. A survey of other healthcare team members was completed to ascertain their perception of physical therapy's role when treating this patient population. Hospitals similar to ours were contacted to determine what standards of care these facilities utilized, and a literature search was completed. Post-implementation surveys were completed by the physical therapy staff and other healthcare team members.
An algorithm and a standard of care were developed to provide guidance to therapists for examination and interventions. An informational handout on ventilator settings and terminology was completed.
We describe a quality improvement project for patients who have difficulty weaning from the ventilator in the acute care setting. We are hopeful that our experience and process may be helpful to other facilities undertaking a similar project.