Improving use of the confusion assessment method (CAM) in the intensive care unit: A quality improvement project to reduce delirium
Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Committee Member/Second Reader
The purpose of this project was to implement an educational intervention to enhance the use of the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit (CAM-ICU) tool at an intensive care unit at a Northwest Arkansas hospital. The goal was for earlier diagnosis and treatment of delirium which research has indicated can impact more favorable patient outcomes. Delirium is an acute mental disturbance, which may have a fluctuating course (van Ejik et al., 2011). Delirium is common in the intensive care unit (ICU) but often goes unidentified causing delayed treatment (van Ejik et al., 2011). The Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) is an assessment tool used in the hospital setting to diagnosis delirium. The CAM-ICU has been adapted for use in the ICU allowing for the assessment of the critically ill and non-verbalizing patients (Boot, 2011). Although the CAM-ICU assessment tool was in use in a local Northwest Arkansas intensive care unit, the hospital felt that the CAM-ICU tool was not being fully utilized. Therefore, an educational intervention was created and delivered to intensive care unit nurses during a monthly staff meeting in order to increase utilization and accuracy of the CAM-ICU assessment tool. 100 patient charts from two months pre-education (September 1, 2014- October 31, 2014) and 100 patient charts from two months post-education (December 1, 2014- January 31, 2015) were reviewed. Data analysis demonstrated no significant difference between pre-education and post-education in CAM-ICU frequency, CAM-ICU scores or documentation of interventions. An educated nurse who can complete an accurate assessment to diagnosis and treat delirium is essential. The aim of this study was to answer the question: Will the CAM-ICU educational campaign affect the number of patients assessed with delirium?
Smith, A. (2015). Improving use of the confusion assessment method (CAM) in the intensive care unit: A quality improvement project to reduce delirium. The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Undergraduate Honors Theses Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/nursuht/19