Date of Graduation


Document Type



COVID-19, ICU, communication, stress, isolation, family-centered care

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Degree Level



Michele Kilmer

Committee Member

Susan Patton

Second Committee Member

Callie Bradley

Third Committee Member

Keri Draganic


Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), first introduced in the United States on January 20, 2020, has created worldwide panic due insufficient research and understanding of the nature of this new disease. Patients suffering from COVID-19 often require intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, resulting in stress and confusion amongst patients and their families. The high transmissibility of the disease has caused hospitals to adopt firm visitor restrictions to protect the public from exposure and spread. Families experience increased anxiety and stress due to ineffective communication with staff and restricted access to their hospitalized loved ones. A needs assessment revealed a gap in care regarding communication standards between medical staff, patients, and the patients’ family members in an academic hospital located in northeast Texas. This quality improvement project was designed to close that gap by creating a standardized communication guide to record patient updates and improve family involvement during the isolated hospitalization. A review of literature analyzed the family-centered care model, COVID-19 isolation standards, hospital communication standards, and barriers to that communication. Rosswurm and Larrabee’s Model of Evidenced-Based Change theory provided the underlining theoretical framework for this project’s development and implementation. Pre-surveys were administered to the families of isolated patients to determine the current communication satisfaction and stress. A post-survey was administered following the use of the COVID ICU Communication that determined that there was an improvement in satisfaction, however and increase in stress. The sample size was limited due to the reduction in COVID census within the hospital effecting the results of the surveys.