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Caregiver Perceptions of a Tracheostomy “Go-Bag” Standardization Initiative

      Highlights

      • Standardized tracheostomy “go-bags” improve tracheostomy supply organization.
      • Standardized, hospital-provided, trifold “go-bags” improve “go-bag” compliance.
      • Diagram-based checklists assist caregivers with tracheostomy supply organization.
      • Diagram-based checklists assist clinical team members with routine supply checks.
      • Caregiver confidence and emergency preparedness improved with an updated “go-bag.”

      Introduction

      This project aimed to standardize and improve the emergency tracheostomy “go-bag” provided by our institution and to increase “go-bag” compliance, supply organization, and emergency preparedness and confidence among caregivers of tracheostomy-dependent children.

      Method

      We provided caregivers with a new trifold “go-bag,” containing four zippered pockets. Diagram-based supply checklists were placed in each “go-bag” to assist with supply organization and supply checks performed by the clinical team. Caregiver questionnaires were administered before and after “go-bag” distribution to assess the impact of the practice change.

      Results

      Between July 1, 2020 and February 28, 2021, 43% (n = 30) of tracheostomy-dependent children followed by the Department of Otolaryngology received a new “go-bag.” Overall, “go-bag” compliance, supply organization, and caregiver confidence related to providing care at home and intervening in an emergency improved from baseline. Caregivers reported overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the new “go-bag” design and utility.

      Discussion

      These findings support the use of standardized, user-friendly tracheostomy “go-bags” provided by health care institutions and the performance of routine “go-bag” supply checks to ensure patient safety and caregiver preparedness.

      KEY WORDS

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      Biography

      Melissa M. Condren, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Connecticut Children's, Hartford, CT

      Biography

      Katherine Kavanagh, Physician, Connecticut Children's, Hartford, CT, and Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT

      Biography

      Barbara Mulholland, Registered Nurse, Connecticut Children's, Hartford, CT