To improve communication, discharge readiness, and satisfaction of burn patients and their families.


In March 2009, the burn intensive care unit at University of Louisville Hospital, Louisville, Kentucky, incorporated family presence during dressing changes. Adverse family events during observation, measures of patient- and family-centered care according to a standardized patient satisfaction survey, infection rates, and staff members’ response to the intervention were tracked.


Through December 2011, no adverse family events occurred, patients’ satisfaction scores increased, and infection rates did not increase. Staff members responded positively to the project.


Allowing family presence during dressing changes provides an opportunity to educate and include patients’ family members in care delivery.

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