Background and aims PICU admission is a major event for children and their parents. Therefore our guidelines dictate that a primary care nurse is assigned to (expected) long-stay patients in any case after two weeks. The primary care nurse coordinates nursing care, informs and supports parents, and organizes multidisciplinary meetings. Because this guideline was not always followed we organized an awareness week. This study evaluates the effectiveness of this intervention.
Methods Data were collected retrospectively over two three-month periods: before and after the awareness week. Background variables including the presence of a primary care nurse were collected for all patients admitted> 2 weeks. The two periods were compared using chi square tests, Fisher exact tests and Mann-Whitney tests.
Results The percentage of patients assigned a primary care nurse dropped statistically significantly from 56.8% to 33.3%, p=0.024). Length of stay was statistically significantly shorter in the after period.
Conclusions Regrettably, the awareness week did not bring about improvement in compliance with assigning a primary care nurse. On the contrary, the compliance was worse. Therefore we need to consider other strategies in the assignment procedure, which is now on a voluntary basis.