A Nursing Intervention for Improving Patient Safety in Critical Care

Pfrimmer, D.M. et al. (2017) Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing36(1) pp. 45–52

11556-2Background: Nursing surveillance has been identified as a key intervention in early recognition and prevention of errors/adverse events. Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC) defines surveillance as “the purposeful and ongoing acquisition, interpretation, and synthesis of patient data for clinical decision making.” Because nurses are the main staffing constant in the critical care environment, the importance of surveillance as an intervention is fundamental.

Discussion: Surveillance was expressed through nurses’ gathering cues, reflecting on past knowledge, asking questions, verifying, and pulling it all together to find meaning. During handoff, surveillance involved collaborative cognitive work to find meaning in cues.

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