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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

Joseph Dubose, Pedro G R Teixeira, Kenji Inaba, Lydia Lam, Peep Talving, Brad Putty, David Plurad, Donald J Green, Demetrios Demetriades, Howard Belzberg
Journal of Trauma 2010, 69 (4): 855-60
20032792

BACKGROUND: 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.

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSION: 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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