Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project




Importance: Postoperative delirium is highly prevalent among elderly hospitalized patients over 65 years old. It is associated with increased mortality, functional and cognitive impairment, admission into long-term care facilities, lengthier hospitalization, and higher costs. Dexmedetomidine decreases the incidence, duration, and severity of postoperative delirium.

Objective: This quality improvement (QI) project aims to improve healthcare provider knowledge regarding dexmedetomidine to decrease postoperative delirium in the elderly population and determine the efficacy of an educational intervention.

Setting: A 716-bed acute care hospital in Broward County, Florida, has a large elderly population requiring anesthetic services. Anesthesia providers at this facility will be educated on preventative measures to reduce the incidence of postoperative delirium.

Methods: A pretest survey will be administered to assess anesthesia providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding dexmedetomidine and postoperative delirium. An educational module will then be provided. Finally, a posttest survey containing the same questions as the pretest will be administered to participants.

Results: Following the educational intervention, there was an increase in knowledge scores and stronger attitudes and beliefs regarding the role of anesthesia providers in reducing postoperative delirium. Furthermore, most participants reported that they were highly likely to implement this into their clinical practice.

Conclusion: An educational module can enhance anesthesia provider knowledge and increase the likelihood of using dexmedetomidine to reduce postoperative delirium