Since February 2014, the International Research Project for the Humanization of the Intensive Care Units (Proyecto HU-CI) has been focusing on the need to redesign ICUs around the world. We have been asking patients, families, and professionals (everyday stakeholders) to describe their ideal ICU.
The eight aspects of care shown in the slide are linked to improving the management of the ICU with a human being–centered care model. Each area has a unique function, but only when they work together can the ICU really be humanized. Each element impacts the others, and coordination is essential to achieve a gold standard of ICU care.
For example, an open-door visitation policy in an ICU encourages families to be involved in the patient’s care, and significantly improve both patient and family well-being. These eight components represent a human care bundle, which aims to improve the health care processes and clinical outcomes.
Among the metrics we are monitoring are ICU length of stay, reduction of readmissions, security of patients, reduction of cost, and satisfaction of patients, families, and professionals.
Our Success Keys
- Building a human-centered culture involves the development of individual and collective attitudes, competencies, and behavior patterns of the health care stakeholders, and can influence the commitment, style, and mastery of management for an organization.
- Achieving humanization of the culture will allow us to focus on the needs of the patients, families, and professionals, meeting the real reason of being for the organization. The fundamental elements needed: leadership, teamwork, scientific evidence, communication, and people-centered care.
- Training for care professionals (and for patients and families, too) in specific humanizing skills enhances patient and provider engagement within the organization, and helps reconnect professionals with their real vocation, and can boost passion and energy even when facing challenging clinical cases.
- Research allows us to generate scientific evidence to support the hypothesis that these work strategies and specific actions can improve humanization. They are not only feasible, but necessary, to bring value to health care attention by improving results.
- Innovating can improve attitudes around existing care elements, as well as in hospital design.
- Continuous evaluation of the humanization of resources and processes and the results of those efforts allows us to track the improvement of the quality of the provided services.
This Project was born in Spain and has spread to more than 20 countries. In Spain, the concept has been adopted beyond the ICU, to include urgent and emergency care, oncology, pediatrics, and neurology. Why not extend this to the whole health care system?