Delirium commonly affects hospitalized patients and is associated with increased hospital length of stay, discharge to skilled care, cost, morbidity, and mortality.
At our organization, there was no formal delirium assessment performed by the nursing staff outside of the intensive care unit.
Assessment of nurses' knowledge about delirium, a nurse-driven delirium screening protocol, and patient education were implemented on an adult inpatient neurology unit. Knowledge change, protocol implementation, and patient-level outcomes were assessed.
Staff nurse delirium education and a nurse-driven delirium screening protocol were implemented.
No change in nursing knowledge occurred pre/postintervention. Falls, falls with injury, and restraint and sitter usage decreased. Changes in length of stay varied over the intervention period. The trend to discharge to home increased, while the trend to discharge to skilled nursing care decreased.
Formal delirium screening protocols may add organizational value by positively impacting patient outcomes.