Proposing Change

Our proposal investigates the importance of accurate intake and output charting, including IV fluids and medication drips. One thing I noticed while retrieving and reviewing relevant peer-reviewed literature for this topic was that there were a lot of sources dated 10-20 years ago. I had found two sources that were unusable for this project because they were too outdated. I think this goes to show that our project proposal is based on an ongoing concept of conversation in healthcare. I realized that inaccuracies and gaps in the charting of intake and output can cause great harm to the patient. Intake and output is especially pertinent to my group’s clinical setting, as it is a cardiac floor. A large portion of the patients we took care of during our clinical time there were placed on a fluid restriction, so accurate documentation of all intake, including PO and IV fluids, is essential to proper care and progression through the treatment plan.

 It was interesting to learn that some of the biggest influencing factors that posed barriers to accurate documentation of intake and output for patients are nurse fatigue and lack of awareness regarding the importance of accurate charting of this is. A device I learned about during this literature reviewal process is the UOP (automated urine output device). This device improves accuracy and timeliness of output documentation. Understanding the different barriers to accurate documentation of intake and output, as well as ways to break these barriers, can help me improve units I may work on in the future. I may be able to identify some of these barriers in action, suggest ways to improve the practice, and spread awareness to fellow nurses about the issue.

I think one issue our team ran into was finding some extent of difficulty in making sure each member was able to contribute equally. For example, during the literature retrieval and review, it seemed as though there were more outdated sources than up to date ones. This left a few members having to remove their articles as they were not recent enough to be used. However, we were able to make it work by teaming up on sources and reviewing the final submissions as a whole. I think our team overall has worked very well together, there have been no conflicts throughout this process. It was been nice to work within our clinical group as we have all been able to relate this project to the unit we have been spending time on this semester. Our communication has been friendly and effective.