Communication with Family
We know this is a challenging time for you and your family. This information explains how Alfred Health will communicate with you in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). We recognize that at this time when no visitors are allowed to come to the ICU, we commit to communicating with you to help you cope with this difficult time.
Communication with you is of utmost importance and we would like to provide some information that outlines the communication expectations. As COVID-19 in the community is an ever-evolving situation, so are our communication strategies to hopefully meet our patients’ family’s needs.
1. You will be contacted by a doctor as soon as possible after your loved one is admitted to ICU and a plan of care has been decided.
2. You will be asked to nominate a spokesperson who will be the primary person for ongoing communication.
3. You may be asked to provide a password which will be used to help our staff identify you when you phone through for a brief update.
4. An ICU Family Liaison nurse will contact the nominated spokesperson early in your loved one’s ICU journey to touch base and ensure you are getting updated information, and if you require additional support.
5. The ICU medical and nursing team will organize family updates on a regular basis and will seek to provide a 2nd daily update, please let us know if you feel you require more frequent updates. Please note that our ICU medical teams care for multiple critically ill patients at any one time. The clinical situation of these patients change frequently and providing them with expert care is our first and foremost priority. This does mean that on occasion, the ICU medical team will be unable to provide you with an update. Please let us know if more than two days pass without an update from a member of the ICU medical team.
6. You can call through to the bedside nursing staff anytime (9076 0700) to seek a brief update on how your loved one is travelling. This will be very brief, and if more information is warranted, you will be contacted by the doctors to discuss further. (Sometimes contacting the bedside nurse will be difficult because patient care is our top priority and may mean the nurse is unable to answer the phone at the time).
7. We will call you anytime of the day if your loved one deteriorates unexpectedly.
Please feel free to prepare any questions you may have which can be addressed during your medical/nursing updates.
Communicating with you in new ways
We have technology to allow you to “see” your loved one with our web cameras. Please feel free to request us to set up a Telehealth virtual meeting to see, and spend time with, your loved one.