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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2007 Oct;23(5):264-71. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

The use of a daily goals sheet to improve communication in the paediatric intensive care unit.

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  • 1Department of Paediatrics, Division of Paediatric Critical Care Medicine (LMP, NJT), Penn State Children's Hospital, Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, PA, USA.



To assess the impact of the implementation of a daily goals sheet upon nursing perception of communication in an academic, tertiary care paediatric intensive care unit (PICU).


Prospective, longitudinal, before-and-after intervention surveys.


University affiliated 12-bed PICU.


Bedside nurses.


A questionnaire was administered to PICU nurses addressing their perception of communication. Following this questionnaire, the use of a daily goals sheet was instituted. A second questionnaire was administered one year later. Mann-Whitney Rank Sum Test was used to compare differences of the graded outcome variables.


The primary outcome was the perception of communication taken from a nursing perspective. Eighty-five percent of nurses felt the daily goals sheet led to improved communication between physicians and nurses in the PICU. All questions related to communication demonstrated a positive influence of the goals sheet, with the perception of the PICU staff working as a team reaching statistical significance (p=0.05). The perception of the care of one surgical service being attending physician directed also significantly improved after the institution of the goals sheet (p=0.04).


The institution of a daily goals sheet led to an improvement in nursing perception of communication. Future studies are required to determine if this change in process has a demonstrable effect on health care outcomes of critically ill children, or whether this tool can have the same beneficial effects in other academic and non-academic PICUs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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