The ICU of a hospital provides sophisticated medical and nursing care to patients facing life-threatening illness or injury. It is estimated that 80% of all Americans will experience an intensive care event, either as a patient or as part of the family of or a friend of a patient during their lifetime. ICUs have been looking to expand their focus beyond patient care and hospital procedures to the consideration of the role of the families of patients in the ICU.
In its simplest terms, this trend is driven by the following two factors: growing evidence that family support positively impacts the recovery rates of ICU patients and high levels of dissatisfaction reported by the families of patients in ICUs. In an effort to improve family member satisfaction and provide better support for the families of ICU patients, The CHEST Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians, in partnership with the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, is involved in a multiyear study of the Critical Care Family Assistance Program (CCFAP).