CHEST Annual Meeting

CHEST Annual Meeting

Source:

Herbst N, Kuntz J. COVID ICU Management Abstract Posters. Presented at: CHEST Annual Meeting; Oct. 17-20, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Herbst reports no relevant financial disclosures.
October 25, 2021
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Impact of COVID-19 hospital visitation restrictions on providers: Survey

Source:

Herbst N, Kuntz J. COVID ICU Management Abstract Posters. Presented at: CHEST Annual Meeting; Oct. 17-20, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Herbst reports no relevant financial disclosures.
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Many hospitals implemented visitation restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting family presence at the bedside in the ICU.

In a new survey, ICU providers reported widespread use of video and spending more time overall communicating with families — in some cases, much more time — and reduced job satisfaction and symptoms of burnout as a result of the visitation restrictions, Nicole P. Herbst, MD, pulmonary and critical care fellow in the division of pulmonary, allergy, critical care and sleep medicine, and Joanne Kuntz, MD, with the division of palliative medicine in the department of family and preventive medicine, both at Emory University School of Medicine, reported in a poster presented at the CHEST Annual Meeting.

Hospital beds in a hospital
Source: Adobe Stock.

“Because families are not present at bedside, restrictive visitation policies have necessitated that communication with families be more intentional and planned than before the COVID-19 pandemic,” Herbst said in a press release. “Understanding the ways these restrictions impact providers and patients can help guide future interventions to improve communication with families and reduce provider burnout.”

Herbst and colleagues surveyed residents, nurse practitioners and physician assistants within the Emory health system from December 2020 to January 2021. The survey asked about communication practices in the ICU with family members such as use of video and related technologies; provider attitudes about the impact of visitation restrictions on family communication; job satisfaction; and symptoms of burnout. At the time of the survey, two visitors were permitted in end-of-life situations only, with rare exceptions, according to the researchers.

Ninety-one providers completed the survey.

Sixty-one percent of respondents reported that at least 33% of the patients they cared for in the ICU had COVID-19.

Compared with 1 year prior to the pandemic, 57.9% of providers reported spending more time communicating with families of ICU patients.

Most providers reported using a unit-based iPad or personal device to communicate with family members. More than 90% of providers reported that they felt video communication was similarly or more effective than telephone communication.

Barriers to communication drew several themes, including inadequate time and the inability for families to be at the patient’s bedside.

Visitation restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were reported as appropriate by 64.3% of providers. However, 71.4% of providers reported that the restrictions had a negative effect on their job satisfaction. Furthermore, 51.8% reported experiencing symptoms of burnout, according to the results.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted family visitation and communication in the ICU. Understanding the ways visitation restrictions impact providers and patients can help guide future interventions to improve communication with families and reduce provider burnout,” Herbst and Kuntz concluded in the abstract.

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