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Intensive Crit Care Nurs. 2011 Jun;27(3):117-20. doi: 10.1016/j.iccn.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Apr 20.

Implementing quality initiatives using a bundled approach.

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  • 1St. George's Hospital NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.


Critical care has been criticised for its inconsistency in implementing and evaluating evidence based practice both at national and international level. A review of the critical care literature by Berenholtz et al. (2002) identified interventions that might help prevent morbidity or mortality in the intensive care unit; from this four elements were developed into the initial ventilator care bundle. The aim of this bundle was to improve the quality of care for mechanically ventilated patients by improving compliance with relevant evidence based practice; implementation of this or an adapted cluster of interventions has been shown consistently to reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonias across countries. There are now numerous care bundles and the bundle approach to quality improvement has been proven to be effective across a number of problems, international boundaries and in a wide variety of ICU's. The bundle approach recognises that core clinical interventions, are not always consistently applied across all appropriate patients, the range of interventions within a bundle tackles the problem from a variety of different angles. Other strengths include its adaptability to the wide variety of environments and working practices of intensive care units across the world. The bundle and the method of implementation can be adapted to suit individual teams and units; however, this can also be a weakness of this approach as it limits comparability across centres. The bundle approach to quality improvement requires significant multidisciplinary engagement and resources to be effective.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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