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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Use of computerized ICU documentation to capture ICU core measures

Wendy Lynn Wahl, Akkeneel Talsma, Carrie Dawson, Sharon Dickinson, Kori Pennington, Donna Wilson, Saman Arbabi, Paul A Taheri
Surgery 2006, 140 (4): 684-9; discussion 690
17011917

BACKGROUND: Intensive care unit (ICU) core measures that target the prevention of catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in ventilated ICU patients are underway across the United States. Implementation often requires additional personnel to educate providers and collect the data. We hypothesized that use of our current computerized ICU flowsheet could provide timely, accurate data on ICU core measures without additional personnel dedicated to data capture.

METHODS: In a 10-bed, closed surgical ICU with existing protocols for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) prophylaxis, stress ulcer bleeding prophylaxis (SUP), ventilator weaning parameters, and glucose control, we created a reporting tool that would document daily weaning parameters, head of bed (HOB) at 30 degrees , glucose levels, DVT prophylaxis, and SUP. Our glucose protocol targeted <150 mg/dL, with all daily glucose values reported rather than just the morning value. The results from the previous 12 am to 11:59 pm were available to the rounding team at 7 am. We examined compliance at the start and after education of medical staff (March/April for HOB up, DVT, and SUP; May/June for glucose control).

RESULTS: During 2005, compliance with all protocols improved. Percent compliance for DVT prophylaxis, SUP, and HOB up rose from as low as 32% at the start of the documentation process to consistently higher than the target level of 95%. Compliance for glucose control increased after intensive education of nursing and physicians with the mean glucose falling from 144 to 122 mg/dL. There was increased nursing workload for checking glucose levels in which the mean number of glucose checks rose from a low of 1.5 per patient to as high as 8.2 per patient per day. CRBSI and VAP rates did not decrease during this period compared with the prior year. Length of stay and mortality were unchanged.

CONCLUSIONS: Reporting of ICU core measures to treating staff can be done accurately and promptly with a computerized system. Education was effective in improving compliance levels. No additional personnel were required to create reports, capture data, or improve compliance after initial development and testing. Although compliance with core measures met target levels at the end of the year, we did not observe improved outcomes in terms of CRBSI, VAP, mortality, or length of stay.

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