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COVID-19, pandemic, tracheostomy, interprofessional, nurse, medical device-related pressure injury, recognition



  1. Gallagher, Mary Anne DNP, RN, Ped-BC
  2. Torrieri, Lisa Anne MSN, RN, FNP, CWON


OBJECTIVE: To use evidence-based practice and an interprofessional approach to improve outcomes for adult patients with tracheostomies and enhance staff knowledge during the COVID-19 pandemic.


METHODS: The core interprofessional Tracheostomy Thursday team included staff nurses, respiratory therapists, and nursing leadership who collaborated with surgeons and materials management staff at an urban academic medical center in New York, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US. The team implemented hospital-wide bedside rounds on all adults with tracheostomies. Skin and safety assessments were performed with peer-to-peer coaching. Data were collected and analyzed to understand areas of improvement.


RESULTS: After 6 months of hospital-wide rounding, implementation of a bedside tracheostomy safety checklist, and a continued interprofessional approach, safety measures increased by 48%, and preventive dressing use increased by 24% with improvement in preventing tracheostomy-related medical device-related pressure injuries. The team's work was professionally recognized through institutional policy change, conference poster presentations, and Sigma's international excellence award.


CONCLUSION: Bundling an interprofessional approach, staff education, bedside rounds, and standard preventive measures was key to the team's success. A bedside safety checklist fostered team communication and supported direct care nurses in managing individuals with a new tracheostomy.