Objective: To identify the key mechanisms that clinicians perceive improve care in the intensive care unit (ICU), as a result of their involvement in post-ICU programs. Methods: Qualitative inquiry via focus groups and interviews with members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s THRIVE collaborative sites (follow-up clinics and peer support). Framework analysis was used to synthesize and interpret the data. Results: Five key mechanisms were identified as drivers of improvement back into the ICU: (1) identifying otherwise unseen targets for ICU quality improvement or education programs—new ideas for quality improvement were generated and greater attention paid to detail in clinical care. (2) Creating a new role for survivors in the ICU—former patients and family members adopted an advocacy or peer volunteer role. (3) Inviting critical care providers to the post-ICU program to educate, sensitize, and motivate them—clinician peers and trainees were invited to attend as a helpful learning strategy to gain insights into post-ICU care requirements. (4) Changing clinician’s own understanding of patient experience—there appeared to be a direct individual benefit from working in post-ICU programs. (5) Improving morale and meaningfulness of ICU work—this was achieved by closing the feedback loop to ICU clinicians regarding patient and family outcomes. Conclusions: The follow-up of patients and families in post-ICU care settings is perceived to improve care within the ICU via five key mechanisms. Further research is required in this novel area.
- Intensive care unit follow-up clinics
- Peer support
- Post-intensive care syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine