Application of the PDCA cycle for standardized nursing management in a COVID-19 intensive care unit
Chen, Yihong et al.
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Background: Nursing quality is an integral part of health care quality and one of key performance indicators (KPIs) for health care management. The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle is a management tool for continuous improvement of a business’s products or processes. It can be applied to standardize nursing management and thus improve the nursing quality and increase the survival rate of patients. This study assessed the value of the PDCA cycle in standardizing nursing management in an intensive care unit (ICU) for patients with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Methods: The status quo of the ICU was analyzed, and the relevant issues and countermeasures were proposed. The PDCA cycle was applied to standardize the nursing management in the ICU. Results: Nine measures were proposed and applied to improve the management of the COVID-19 ICU: defining the clean or contaminated areas, use of self-designed shoe storage cabinets, defining staff roles and responsibilities, establishing the staffing structure, staff training, placing items at fixed locations, improving shift handover, use of bulletin boards for listing key points, and use of reserved drugs cabinets. The virus contamination awareness, professional skills, awareness of duties and responsibilities, and quality and performance of nursing were remarkably improved 2 weeks after the implementation of the above countermeasures. Conclusions: The PDCA cycle helps to standardize nursing management in COVID-19 ICU by developing and applying effective nursing management approaches.