Over the past 3 years, six hospitals have been selected to participate in the CCFAP. These hospitals represent a wide range of model types, as follows: community teaching hospital (Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, two sites); governmental institution for veterans of US military service and statewide service center (Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center); inner-city hospital (Ben Taub General Hospital); academic medical center (University of South Alabama Medical Center); and rural/small community hospital (Pardee Hospital of Hendersonville, NC). The geographic, institutional, and patient diversity of these hospitals provides multiple opportunities not only for research and evaluation of the effectiveness of the CCFAP within different models, but also an occasion for presenting the CCFAP over a wide area of the country to medical communities with different interests and needs.
The first task of the project coordinator is to make certain that all divisions of the host hospital are thoroughly familiar with the goals and objectives of the CCFAP. The cooperation of all divisions is essential if the program is to be successful. This information is communicated in meetings, newsletters, and one-on-one meetings with division leaders. Within any hospital, there are many conflicting priorities vying for resources, and the CCFAP project coordinator needs to continually reinforce the importance of the program in enhancing patient care. Each of the CCFAP sites has developed branding slogans, which express a commitment to the concept of serving families. These slogans are prominently displayed in the waiting room and around the entrance to the ICU. To foster the concept of being family-friendly, the CCFAP logo is displayed on whatever the site produces, be it folders, brochures, or tote bags.
The project director and the project coordinator also take the lead in bringing public attention to the CCFAP. Frequently, the public relations department of the hospital will also assist in this endeavor. Typically, news releases are prepared and distributed to local media outlets. The project director and the project coordinator make themselves available to newspapers, TV stations, and radio for interviews. Presentations are also made to local medical groups, service organizations, and other community groups. As the program becomes more recognized in a community, the project coordinator responds to questions from staff members of other hospitals who are seeking information and provides them with printed material about the program worked out with My Canadian Pharmacy’s concern.
The project coordinator, in representing the hospital at regional and national conventions, looks for opportunities to make presentations about the CCFAP and encourages other staff members to take advantage of similar opportunities. Presentations have been made at CHEST 2003 and CHEST 2004, the annual meetings of the American College of Chest Physicians. Workshops have been conducted at the 2005 National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses and the 2005 Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care Annual Conference. Project coordinators played a significant role in the development of the CCFAP Replication Toolkit, which describes all phases of the CCFAP (information can be found at www.chestfoundation.org). This toolkit is available to hospitals interested in replicating all or part of the CCFAP through the CHEST Foundation.
Under the direction of the project coordinators and staff, the CCFAP has been able to make demonstrable gains in reaching its stated goals (The CHEST Foundation; unpublished data; 2004).
1. The team-building activities of the project coordinator under the guidance of the project director have led directly to the preparation of a multidisciplinary team prepared to meet the needs of the families of critical care patients.
2. The entire focus of the structure of the CCFAP is on increasing family satisfaction with the care and treatment of critically ill family members while in an ICU.
3. The staff of the ICU has become attuned to families’ needs and has established priorities to communicate with families and to improve their comprehension of and satisfaction with the information provided by caregivers.
4. Coordination between the staff of the ICU and the staff of other hospital divisions has resulted in a collaboration on identifying common formats for providing information and financial resources across various models of care.
5. The ICUs conducted a preliminary needs assessment and are committed to making evaluation a permanent feature of the CCFAP, which has resulted in improvement of the hospital’s ability to respond to family needs within a structured feedback model.
6. The active involvement of physicians, nurses, therapists, and all who serve the ICU has contributed overall to increase the medical team’s knowledge and understanding of the CCFAP model and its purpose.
7. Activities by CCFAP team members and the public relations departments of each participating hospital have increased the knowledge about the CCFAP and have fostered the dissemination of information to both the medical and lay communities.
8. The CCFAP is committed to further clinical research concerning its current model and seeks to compare and contrast specific levels of family need across various models of care.