Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a modified form of cardiopulmonary bypass and a complex adult critical care therapy. No evidence appears to exist on sustaining relevant quality nursing standards during a pandemic. The aim for this quality improvement process was to address nursing provision in real time related to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in a pandemic, providing fundamentals for future readiness. The Ishikawa fishbone diagram and a Plan-Do-Study-Act cycle were methods used. Process changes included implementation of a communication algorithm, an alternative nursing care model, increased nursing staffing and leadership visibility, use of perfusion services for nursing task support, and minimized nursing documentation. Changes applied were successful. We recommend increasing nursing staffing volume and support resources, applying a communication algorithm, and minimizing documentation requirements. These strategies are generalizable to other clinical nursing areas in similar pandemics or disasters.

You do not currently have access to this content.