Memorial Hospital Opens the Doors to its Critical Care Unit (CCU)

The days of pressing a buzzer and waiting for a nurse to usher in one family member at a time to visit a critically ill family member are days of the past.  On Monday, June 22, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital is unlocking the doors to the CCU and encouraging family members to play a more active role in the care of their loved ones.

“Studies have shown that patients actually recover more quickly and respond better to treatments when surrounded by their families,” says Lynda Boggess, Nurse Manager for Memorial’s CCU.  “Now we’re asking patients to work with us to provide the best possible care for their loved ones.”

The new model of care is called “Family Centered Care.”  Following the model set by Virginia Mason in Seattle, Memorial has been working toward involving families in patient care for the past year.  Staff members are being trained in helping families understand how to monitor their own visitation.  Doctors in the CCU are scheduling regular meetings with family members to explain the status and care of patients. Starting Monday, a family member will also be invited to join the morning, multi-disciplinary “rounds” as physicians involved in the patient’s care discuss treatment options.

“If families are aware of the status and goals for the patient, they can actually help the patient reach those goals,” says Boggess.  “This approach to patient care bridges the communication gap and helps families understand what the patient needs.”

Boggess says that the CCU will still have the option of locking the doors for security purposes, but the goal is to have the CCU doors unlocked so family members can come and go as they need to support their loved one’s recovery.

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