Intensive care unit early mobility programs improve patients’ functional status and outcomes. An electronic health record–based communication tool improved interprofessional communication within an early mobility program. Long-term sustainability of this communication tool has not been evaluated.
Ineffective interprofessional communication was perceived as a barrier to success of an intensive care unit early mobility program at the project institution. An electronic health record–based communication tool was successfully implemented to improve communication. Sustaining the intervention is of continued importance.
Longitudinal data were collected 2 years after initial implementation of the communication tool to evaluate its continued impact on patient outcomes and staff engagement with an intensive care unit early mobility program.
Initial implementation of the electronic health record–based communication tool resulted in statistically and clinically significant improvements in patient and staff metrics. Compared with postimplementation data, 2-year longitudinal follow-up data revealed nonsignificant changes in patient outcomes (time from admission to mobility goal, mechanical ventilation duration, length of intensive care unit stay, and discharge disposition recommendations to higher independence levels). Staff reported continued use of the communication tool and positive perceptions of its impact on the intensive care unit early mobility program.
Nonsignificant changes in patient outcomes may indicate sustainment of the effect of the communication tool’s original implementation. Employing appropriate sustainment techniques is essential to maintain practice change. The electronic health record–based communication tool can improve interprofessional communication within an intensive care unit early mobility program, improving patient outcomes and staff teamwork.