Checklists and protocols improve ICU care

In this before-after study, a 24 bed surgical ICU introduced a checklist of 14 quality items. It was first made available for use, then its use mandated. Verbal consideration of the items improved from 91% to 100% after the mandate. Clinical care improvements occurred with DVT prophylaxis, stress ulcer prophylaxis, oral care for ventilated patients, electrolyte repletion, initiation of physical therapy, and restraint orders. This adds to the literature that standardized care check lists can improve care quality in many different settings and patient populations (abstract).

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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