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J Trauma. 2010 Oct;69(4):855-60. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181c4526f.

Measurable outcomes of quality improvement using a daily quality rounds checklist: one-year analysis in a trauma intensive care unit with sustained ventilator-associated pneumonia reduction.

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  • 1Division of Trauma and Critical Care at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.



We have previously demonstrated that the use of a daily "Quality Rounds Checklist" (QRC) can increase compliance with evidence-based prophylactic measures and decrease complications in a busy trauma intensive care unit (ICU) over a 3-month period. This study was designed to determine the sustainability of QRC use over 1 year and examine the relationship between compliance and outcome improvement.


A prospective before-after design was used to examine the effectiveness of the QRC tool in documenting compliance with 16 prophylactic measures for ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, catheter-related bloodstream infection, and other ICU complications. The QRC was implemented on a daily basis for a 1-year period by the ICU fellow on duty. Monthly compliance rates were assessed by a multidisciplinary team for development of strategies for real-time improvement. Compliance and outcomes were captured over 1 year of QRC use.


QRC use was associated with a sustained improvement of VAP bundle and other compliance measures over a year of use. After multivariable analysis adjusting for age (> 55), injury mechanism, Glasgow Coma Scale score (≤ 8), and Injury Severity Score (> 20), the rate of VAP was significantly lower after QRC use, with an adjusted mean difference of -6.65 (per 1,000 device days; 95% confidence interval, -9.27 to -4.04; p = 0.008). During the year of QRC use, 3% of patients developed a VAP if all four daily bundle measures were met for the duration of ICU stay versus 14% in those with partial compliance (p = 0.04). The overall VAP rate with full compliance was 5.29 versus 9.23 (per 1,000 device days) with partial compliance. Compared with the previous year, a 24% decrease in the number of pneumonias was recorded for the year of QRC use, representing an estimated cost savings of approximately $400,000.


The use of a QRC facilitates sustainable improvement in compliance rates for clinically significant prophylactic measures in a busy Level I trauma ICU. The daily use of the QRC, requiring just a few minutes per patient to complete, equates to cost-effective improvement in patient outcomes.

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