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As patient charts make the transition from paper to digital platforms, QEII nursing staff are getting patients involved in recording of their own fluid intake. Education is being provided to QEII staff on accurate completion of Fluid Balance Charts and how we can increase patient involvement. Fluid monitoring is an integral element of patient care that needs to be documented and managed by nursing staff for patient safety and medication management.
The Fluid Balance Chart provides a standardised system that is accessible by both nursing staff and Medical Officers to ensure the fluid intake information is up to date.
The patients are invited to become involved by keeping track of their oral intake on a simple bedside notecard.
Clinical Facilitator, Ellie Grbac, says the chart is user friendly and benefits the staff by involving patients in their own care.
“Patients are given access to the notecard that breaks down each fluid item that is given to them, so they are able to easily mark how much fluid they are eating and drinking each meal.
“For example, if the patient has Jelly, they can see the jelly image on the back of the notecard that says 150ml and add this to their list of fluid intake. Their nurse will then be able to transcribe this to the patient’s digital medical chart.” said Ms Grbac.
The nursing staff are easily able to compare with fluid output in case clinical interventions are required for complications like fluid retention.
The Fluid Balance Chart and bedside notecard allows nurses to engage in an open conversation with their patients to discuss the importance of fluid monitoring for their specific condition.
The chart is especially important for patients with a heart condition, or post-operative patients to monitor fluid going in and coming out to keep our patients safe.