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Crit Care. 2011;15(6):316. doi: 10.1186/cc10582. Epub 2011 Dec 9.

Quality in quality improvement research--a new benchmark.

Author information

1
Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, 3550 Terrace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. ashernr@upmc.edu

Abstract

CITATION:

Scales DC, Dainty K, Hales B, Pinto R, Fowler RA, Adhikari NK, Zwarenstein M: A multifaceted intervention for quality improvement in a network of intensive care units: a cluster randomized trial. JAMA 2011, 305:363-72.

CONTEXT:

Evidence-based practices improve intensive care unit (ICU) outcomes, but eligible patients may not receive them. Community hospitals treat most critically ill patients but may have few resources to devote to quality improvement.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effectiveness of a multicenter quality improvement program to increase delivery of 6 evidence-based ICU practices.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Pragmatic, cluster-randomized trial among 15 community hospital ICUs in Ontario, Canada. A total of 9269 admissions occurred during the trial (November 2005 to October 2006) and 7141 admissions during a decay-monitoring period (December 2006 to August 2007).

INTERVENTION:

The authors implemented a videoconference-based forum including audit and feedback, expert-led educational sessions, and dissemination of algorithms to sequentially improve delivery of 6 practices. The ICUs were randomized into 2 groups. Each group received this intervention, targeting a new practice every 4 months, while acting as control for the other group, in which a different practice was targeted in the same period.

MAIN OUTCOMES:

The primary outcome was the summary ratio of odds ratios (ORs) for improvement in adoption (determined by daily data collection) of all 6 practices during the trial in intervention vs control ICUs.

RESULTS:

Overall, adoption of the targeted practices was greater in intervention ICUs than in controls (summary ratio of ORs, 2.79; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00-7.74). Improved delivery in intervention ICUs was greatest for semi recumbent positioning to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (90.0% of patient-days in last month vs. 50.0% in first month; OR, 6.35; 95% CI, 1.85-21.79) and precautions to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infection (70.0% of patients receiving central lines vs. 10.6%; OR, 30.06; 95% CI, 11.00-82.17). Adoption of other practices, many with high baseline adherence, changed little.

CONCLUSION:

In a collaborative network of community ICUs, a multi-faceted quality improvement intervention improved adoption of care practices.

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