Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School




Program or Major

Doctorate of Nursing Practice

Degree Name


First Advisor

Clarissa Michalak, DNP, ACNPC-AG, CCRN

Second Advisor

Kristin Laberis, MTS

Third Advisor

Felicia Azzi, BSN, RN


Extended mechanical ventilation times after open heart surgery can contribute to complications prolonging recovery and length of stay, as well as increasing mortality. Standardized staff education of immediate post-open-heart recovery and ventilator weaning protocols, combined with the use of ABCDE and VAP bundles can reduce these complications. At Hospital X during summer of 2022, the average length of time patients remained mechanically ventilated after open heart surgery increased. After an initial needs survey was distributed to nursing staff, a set of novel QR codes was created to simplify and centralize training for staff in the ICU to facilitate early extubation and mobility, as well as increase adherence to standards of care. As a result, average post operative ventilator times showed a downward trend and staff reported increased confidence in their skills. In addition, QR codes have led to an electronic resource of protocols that could be updated as needed. Use of QR codes can be extended to other areas of education and patient care.