The Beckwith Institute’s 2015-16 Frontline Innovation Program recently awarded 11 grants to UPMC staff who proposed projects to help improve bedside care. One of these Beckwith grants went to a group from the 4G Neurotrauma ICU, submitted by Jonathan Elmer, MD, Assistant Professor, Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine, and Karen Nigra, RN, the lead clinical resource specialist on the unit.
The grant aims to help critically ill patients who have sustained a severe brain injury cope with emotional problems like nightmares, delusions, stress, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder related to their time in the intensive care unit (ICU). As a part of the project, titled “ICU Diaries: A Simple, Multidisciplinary Bedside Intervention to Improve Patient and Family Outcomes After Severe Acquired Brain Injury,” family members and hospital staff at UPMC Presbyterian will keep records detailing how the patient came to the ICU, what happened there, and the progress made during the patient’s hospital stay.
“This simple, cost-effective bedside intervention can help patients with severe brain injuries understand what happened to them while they were critically ill,” said Elmer. “It has the potential to alleviate or prevent PTSD.”