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BEST NURSING PRACTICE as described in Lindgren & Ames (2005), Henneman, Dracup, Ganz, Molayeme & Cooper (2001) & (2002) for mechanically ventilated patients can achieve decreased length of ventilator days as well as decreased length of ICU stay by an average of 2.7 and 3.6 days, respectively. Multidisciplinary team collaboration that incorporates effective communication with the patient is necessary for achieving these stated outcomes. "Give the patient paper and pencil to determine if handwriting is legible. Picture and alphabet boards can be useful as well... one such tool is the EZ Board." The Vidatak EZ Board is distributed internationally and sold through the AACN as the only research-based communication tool shown to reduce frustration and improve patient satisfaction.

Kleinpell RM, Patak L, Wilson-Stronks, A, Costello J, Person C, Henneman EA, Happ MB. (2008). Communication in the ICU. Advance for Nurses, 6:18-21.

Patak L, Gawlinski A, Fung NI, Doering L, Berg J. (2006). Communication boards in critical care: patients' views. Applied Nursing Research, 19(4), 182-90.

Patak L, Gawlinski A, Fung NI, Doering L, Berg J. (2004). Patient's reports of health care practitioner interventions related to communication during mechanical ventilation. Heart & Lung - The Journal of Acute and Critical Care, 33(5), 308-320.

Patak L, Wilson-Stronks A, Costello J, Kleinpell RM, Person C, Henneman BA, Happ MB. (2009). Improving Patient-Provider Communication: A Call to Action. Journal of Nursing Administration; 39(9), 372-6.

Click on journals to the left to retrieve articles.

Two other studies examined the Vidatak EZ Board in the acute care clinical setting. Annie (2007) performed an experimental control trial of 60 patients, randomized to use the Vidatak EZ Board or routine care in India. The results of this study demonstrated that 73% patients without the EZ Board found their communication process was inadequate; however with the board, 80% found their communication was adequate. Without the EZ Board, 63% of patients reported being unsatisfied with their communication process; and with the board, 77% were satisfied. Of those who used the Vidatak EZ Board, 80% were satisfied with the board, 20% moderately satisfied and none reported unsatisfied. Nurses, however, reported 53% satisfaction, 30% moderately satisfied and 17% unsatisfied. Overall, the patients with the Vidatak EZ Board reported higher satisfaction with communication (p<.001) and this was correlated to their satisfaction with the Vidatak EZ Board(p<.01).

Reed (2008) surveyed nurses and patients regarding methods used to communicate. Pre-intervention assessments reported 60% of MV patients were extremely frustrated with their inability to communicate and 75% of nurses perceived their methods and resources to be inadequate. Post intervention assessment reported 51% of patients preferred the EZ Board as their best method compared to other communication aids and basic methods, and 58% of nurses reported the EZ Board as the most beneficial method.

Annie, L. (2007). Effectiveness of a communication board against the usual methods of communication used by the mechanically ventilated patients. Apollo College of Nursing, Chennai, India.

Reed, C. (2008). The Role of Education and Innovative Communication Tools in Improving Non-Verbal Communication. University of Texas Health Sciences Center.