BIDMC to focus on tools for preventing harm, engaging families in ICUs

With a $5.3 million grant, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center plans to create digital tools to further eliminate preventable harm in the intensive care unit and better engage with patients and families.

With the grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Beth Israel will join Johns Hopkins Medicine, the University of California-San Francisco and Brigham & Women's Hospital in an ICU Consortium focused on redesigning intensive care.

Clinicians will partner with MIT system scientists to develop a model for measuring and managing the leading indicators of risk for harm in the ICU, including a dashboard showing clinicians conditions that might threaten patient safety.

It plans to build tools that provide nurses and physicians with the right information for the decisions immediately at hand for each patient. While checklists and scorecards can be effective, they can be unwieldy when scaled to cover all potential harms, an announcement says. The hospital plans to provide patient-specific information in real time through an interface for providers and a second interface in easy-to-understand language designed to foster communication with patients and families.

Central to that are plans to include measures of patients' perceptions of dignity and respect in the ICU and information about how involved family members would like to be.

Once those tools are in place, it plans to extend them to community hospitals--Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Milton and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymout--as well.

A Mayo Clinic found that an electronic checklist for transferring neuroscience ICU patients improved medication reconciliation and decrease patient time with a urinary catheter. The checklist could help prevent infections and use of medications no longer needed.

Hospitals are making headway to reduce hospital-acquired infections, though not in all categories identified in the National Action Plan to Prevent Healthcare-Associated Infections, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

"Key to the success of the National Action Plan was the multilevel approach to implementation of initiatives at the federal, regional and state levels," Katherine L. Kahn of the RAND Corp. and colleagues reported at Medical Care. "The potential for alignment offers opportunities to leverage existing resources and capabilities within the healthcare system on an ongoing basis." 

To learn more:
- find the announcement

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