BACKGROUND: We sought to increase intensive care unit-family meeting (ICU-FM) documentation in the electronic health record in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.
MEASURES: Primary outcomes were proportion of VA decedents with ICU-FM and Bereaved Family Survey-Performance Measure (BFS-PM) scores of "excellent".
INTERVENTION: Quality Improvement (QI) project, clinical champion and ICU-FM templates, were implemented in nine participating VA facilities. ICU-FMs and BFS-PM were determined in decedents between 2011-2018.
OUTCOMES: ICU-FM increased from 3% to 28% in participating vs. 5% to 6% in non-participating facilities over time. Participating facilities were 5-fold more likely to have ICU-FMs among ICU decedents (OR=5.69, [4.45-7.28]). Facility-wide excellent BFS-PM scores increased by 19% in participating vs. non-participating facilities at the end of the observation period (OR=1.19, [1.10-1.30] but no difference between groups was observed in patients who died in the ICU.
CONCLUSIONS: Increasing ICU-FMs is necessary but not sufficient to improve family-reported satisfaction following an ICU death.