Document Type


Publication Date



Critical Care Medicine, Nursing, Maine Medical Center

MeSH Headings

quality of care, academic medical center, medical intensive care unit, communication, patients, goal, workflow, orientation, leaders


To deliver the highest quality of care across the continuum, a large academic tertiary medical center envisioned a project that would provide an internal source of cross trained nurses for their medical intensive care unit (SCU2) and their medical intermediate care unit (R4/IMC/AVU). The hope for this program was to improve communication and collaboration between nurses and enhance the care that they provide to patients and their families.

A highly qualified team of nurses was established to create a performance improvement project. The overall goal of this endeavor was to build a more collaborative relationship between the units and ultimately improve patient outcomes and experiences.

Since this was a new program, there were expectations of challenges with the start-up. In addition, misunderstanding and misconceptions of each other’s workflows and systems would need to be identified and addressed.

Several countermeasures were established to address the concerns and challenges. Development of an action plan, role expectations, competency based orientation tool and recruitment of dynamic tenured nurses proved to be critical key to success.

Feedback about the bridge program from patients, families, involved nurses, and administrative leaders has been positive. Next steps include refining staff orientation, identifying potential program members with strong clinical attributes and ongoing evaluation of program outcomes.



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