Improving Your Intensive Care Unit

Posted on: 29 August 2017

As the new administrator running the intensive care unit (ICU) in a hospital, you're tasked with ensuring that patients receive excellent care and that your staff is qualified and satisfied with their work. To do this well, the ICU suggestions below could be important so you can make any needed adjustments:

Ask for Feedback

Often, a good way to start improving any unit is to ask people how it's working today. As part of your discharge or follow-up process, you can ask patients about their experience and whether they wish something had been done differently.

As important as feedback from patients is feedback from the doctors, nurses and aide staff on your unit. Because these professionals work there each day, they are probably well aware of things that need to be changed. They are likely to have some ideas that you can implement to raise effectiveness overall. In addition, the fact that you're searching them out for their opinions will make them feel valued.

Spend Time There

Your own observations can also make positive changes; there could be blind spots that staff isn't aware of. Make it a point to spend some time in the unit yourself on a regular basis. Try to imagine how things look from the point of view of someone who is a patient coming there for the first time. Does each patient seem to be getting enough attention? Are too many staff members huddled at the nurses' station? Get a feel for what happens on your unit so that you're better able to suggest changes.

Evaluate Staffing Needs

Just because there has always been a certain number of nurses or doctors in the ICU, you should evaluate whether that number is adequate. Feedback can give you an idea of whether your unit is understaffed, but you should also be reaching out to other hospital administrators in the area to get an idea of how many people they have on the floor. There is no definitive number of people your unit should have, but ensure that you've got enough people that a few sick days or vacation days won't derail the entire unit.

An intensive care unit needs to be run smoothly in order to help the very sick patients that need it. To be sure that the unit is working optimally, contact a consultant for ICU's who can assess your department and provide tips to improve it even more.