The following article features coverage from the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference in Austin, Texas. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage. 

Delirium prevention and the use of nonpharmacologic methods for its treatment may improve short- and long-term outcomes among hospitalized patients, according to a presentation at the National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) 2018 Annual Conference.

Delirium leads to significantly worse outcomes for hospitalized patients, such as increased mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS), and discharge to a nursing facility vs home. A current challenge is inconsistent routine screening for delirium; previous findings show that patients in acute care are often overlooked for screening compared with patients in critical care who are regularly screened.

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For this initiative, routine twice daily screening and education for delirium was implemented for both acute and progressive care, and algorithms and tips regarding pharmacologic therapy were entered into electronic medical records. All patients should be screened by nursing staff every shift, nonpharmacologic prevention methods documented, and all patients and family should be educated on delirium risk and prevention strategies upon admission.

A report detailing positive delirium screening scores will be implemented, allowing providers to screen patient records to make sure that nonpharmacologic methods are being used, and if absolutely necessary, the correct pharmcologic interventions are applied.

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Full findings will be presented at the 2018 Annual Conference.


Halcomb P. Delirium assessment, prevention and treatment throughout the  spectrum of care. Oral presentation at: NACNS 2018 Annual Conference; February 28-March 3, 2018; Austin, TX.