Intensive care units (ICU) across the country are plagued with a silent morbidity that increases monetary costs, patient stay, and nursing retention known as delirium. Delirium can drive up all three of these factors creating an unnecessary burden on hospital and community resources. In response to the silent crisis, a delirium prevention bundle was created to alleviate the burdens that ICU delirium can put on a hospital.
Reviewing implementation strategies showed that employees needed extensive training on recognizing the different types of delirium including hyperactive, mixed, and hypoactive delirium. It was determined that for the delirium bundle to be successful that a course educating staff on delirium was crucial. Additionally, this training increased buy in from staff, further increasing the likelihood of success for the project.
Implementing this project could save close to $15,000 per patient in a preventable disease in the ICU. Additionally, average patient stay in the ICU will decrease, opening more ICU beds for possible COVID-19 surges in different areas. Lastly, nursing retention will likely improve from decreased levels of delirium in the ICU. If more staff are retained, further costs and nursing experience can be preserved by not having to consistently train new staff for ICU level of care.
Putting more of an emphasis on recognizing, preventing, and treating earlier has many benefits for any hospital. Extensive research has been conducted that blue light is a major culprit in ICU delirium. Using blue light blocking glasses for patients and training for staff on delirium prevention strategies, it has been shown to significantly decrease delirium rates in many ICUs across the world. The earlier we can begin implementation for this project the sooner we begin to see the benefits it can bring to patient satisfaction, finances, and nursing preservation.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Masters in Nursing Science
Montgomery, Hunter, "Effect of Blue Light on Sleep & Delirium in the Intensive Care Unit" (2021). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 129.