Quality improvement intervention with checklists failed to cut ICU mortality

Daily checklists and other aspects of a quality improvement intervention failed to reduce deaths among critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs), a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found.

The quality improvement intervention at the study in Brazil also included goal setting and prompting of clinicians, according to the study abstract. Although the quality improvement effort improved performance in six areas, including avoiding heavy sedation and use of central venous catheters and urinary catheters, there was no improvement in areas including central line-associated bloodstream infection and ventilator-associated pneumonia.

"Using checklists combined with daily goals assessment and clinician prompting may improve communication, adherence to care processes and clinical outcomes," according to an announcement from JAMA. "However, evidence from randomized trials supporting the use of checklists in critical care is lacking."

The authors noted that the study might have been too short for the quality improvement intervention to have an effect.

To learn more:
- here's the study abstract
- read the JAMA announcement