Checklist as an aid to clinical task completion in the ICU

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We introduced a simple checklist to act as an aid to memory for our junior medical staff to ensure that every patient in the intensive care unit (ICU) received every appropriate element of a bundle of care every day” Nama et al (2016).

Abstract:

We introduced a simple checklist to act as an aid to memory for our junior medical staff to ensure that every patient in the intensive care unit (ICU) received every appropriate element of a bundle of care every day. The checklist was developed in consultation with our junior doctors and was designed to be completed every morning for every patient by the junior doctor reviewing the patient.

The completed checklist was then checked again by the attending intensivist on the main daily ward round to ensure all the appropriate elements of the checklist had been applied to the patient. It was also noted each day which of the elements of the checklist had been forgotten and was therefore prompted to be completed by use of the checklist. Of the 75 patients surveyed there were 99 occasions, in 48 patients, when the checklist detected a forgotten element of the bundle of care (i.e. in 64% of patients). There was a decrease in the incidence of missed elements of the bundle of care the longer the patient stayed in the ICU. Types of missed elements varied with the duration of the ICU stay. We found that the introduction of a simple checklist, developed in collaboration with the junior medical staff who would be using the checklist every day in the ICU, resulted in the detection and correction of missed elements of a bundle of care we had previously introduced in the ICU.

Reference:

Nama, A., Sviri, S., Abutbul, A., Stav, I. and van Heerden, P.V. (2016) Successful introduction of a daily checklist to enhance compliance with accepted standards of care in the medical intensive care unit. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care. 44(4), p.498-500.

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