Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Study Finds Benefits to Increasing Nurse-Physician Collaboration

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) decreased when collaboration between nurses and physicians working in critical care increased, according to a new study published in the April issue of Critical Care Nurse (CCN).

In critical care units in which nurses reported a more favorable perception of nurse-physician collaboration, researchers found lower rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) and central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI).

Researchers for the study, including Christine Boev, performed a secondary analysis of nurse surveys conducted in four specialized intensive care units (ICUs) over a five year period. The resulting article, “Nurse-Physician Collaboration and Hospital-Acquired Infections in Critical Care,” shows the association between nurses’ perception of their working relationships with physicians and the rates of VAPs and CLASBSIs.

“Our findings suggest that raising the quality of collaboration and communication among nurses and physicians has the potential to improve patient safety,” Boev said in a statement. “Efforts to prevent healthcare-associated infections must include interventions to improve nurse-physician collaboration.”

Boev, an assistant professor at the Wegmans School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College, suggested multidisciplinary daily patient rounds and shared simulation training to improve collaboration.

Reducing CLASBIs was the focus of an INQRI-funded study led by David Thompson and Jill Marsteller. Their study, involving 45 intensive care units in 35 hospitals in 12 states, tested a nurse-led intervention that used a bundle of evidence-based practices to reduce infections. The intervention was successful in significantly reducing infections and also highlighted the importance of promoting a culture of safety and communication. It also established that nurses should play a central role in quality improvement interventions.

The CCN article abstract and full-text PDF is available at:

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