The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

Introduction: Why, How, When, Types of Tubes, and Problems

Mike Harrell, BS, RRT, Sunday, December 7, 1997.

Service for patients with artificial airways in an acute care 208 bed medical facility was reviewed with particular emphasis on the effects of the timing of tracheostomy, the selection of tracheostomy tube type and the process of ongoing care related to the artificial airway. Through individual case outcome assessment, a review of current literature and clinical evaluation, the process was found to be fragmented and inconsistent. A multi disciplinary focus group was formed to evaluate the current process, make recommendations for process improvement and implement and monitor the new process.

The involvement of Respiratory Care, Speech and Language Pathology, Nursing and members of the medical staff in the focus group helped develop an Artificial Airway Care Assessment process which contributes to improved outcomes for patients requiring artificial airway support services. An assessment tool, standardization of tracheostomy tube types and an assessment documentation process were developed as essential components of the improvement plan. The role of each discipline in the process of education and implementation of the process was defined and key functions were assigned.

AARC 50th Anniversary, December 6 - 9, 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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