Abstract 16823: Care Standardization in the Cardiac Surgical Intensive Care Unit: Clinical Outcome and Value
Objective: Practice analysis of cardiac surgical service lines suggested that, for patients having routine cardiac surgery, standardization of care processes in the ICU could reduce cost and improve outcomes. We tested this hypothesis in a large surgical practice.
Methods: Patients eligible for a standardized care pathway were prospectively identified preoperatively. ICU protocol development and practice redesign occurred in 2009 with implementation in 2010. In the ICU, all major process steps to recovery were managed by tiered and integrated protocols whereby care advancement is the default if clinical criteria are met. We compared outcomes of patients managed by protocol to those managed by standard care. ICU metrics (time intubated, drip weaning, length of stay) were benchmarked against a sample of 65 CABG patients from 2008. Return to ICU and to OR for standardized care patients were compared to concurrent patients under routine care. We report on all patients having cardiac surgery for 12 months beginning March 2010.
Findings: Over 12 months, the ICU care of 1289 patients followed standardized tiered protocols, while 1309 patients were managed by standard care. After implementation of standardized protocols, ICU metrics improved in protocol patients relative to 2008 (2010 versus 2008): mean intubation time in hours (7.4 vs 11.6), mean time on hemodynamic drips in hours (16.2 vs 25.3), average ICU length of stay in hours (25.1 vs 35.9). The safety of protocol based care is demonstrated by lower rates of return to ICU and to OR among patients under protocol vs non-protocol: return to OR (1.8% vs 8.9%), return to ICU (1.6% vs 6.2%).
Conclusions: With proper patient selection and rigorous protocols that make care advancement the default, cardiac surgical care in the ICU can be standardized and clinical metrics improved. The safety of this strategy is demonstrated by very low rates of return to OR or ICU. This practice model is translatable to other ICU practices.
- © 2011 by American Heart Association, Inc.