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Monitoring intensive care unit performance--impact of a novel individualised performance scorecard in critical care medicine: a mixed-methods study protocol

22 Jan 2018


Patients admitted to a critical care medicine (CCM) environment, including an intensive care unit (ICU), are susceptible to harm and significant resource utilisation. Therefore, a strategy to optimise provider performance is required. Performance scorecards are used by institutions for the purposes of driving quality improvement. There is no widely accepted or standardised scorecard that has been used for overall CCM performance. We aim to improve quality of care, patient safety and patient/family experience in CCM practice through the utilisation of a standardised, repeatable and multidimensional performance scorecard, designed to provide a continuous review of ICU physician and nurse practice, as well as departmental metrics.

Methods and analysis

This will be a mixed-methods, controlled before and after study to assess the impact of a CCM-specific quality scorecard. Scorecard metrics were developed through expert consensus and existing literature. The study will include 19 attending CCM physicians and approximately 300 CCM nurses. Patient data for scorecard compilation are collected daily from bedside flow sheets. Preintervention baseline data will be collected for 6 months for each participant. After this, each participant will receive their scorecard measures. Following a 3-month washout period, postintervention data will be collected for 6 months. The primary outcome will be change in performance metrics following the provision of scorecard feedback to subjects. A cost analysis will also be performed, with the purpose of comparing total ICU costs prior to implementation of the scorecard with total ICU costs following implementation of the scorecard. The qualitative portion will include interviews with participants following the intervention phase. Interviews will be analysed in order to identify recurrent themes and subthemes, for the purposes of driving scorecard improvement.

Ethics and dissemination

This protocol has been approved by the local research ethics board. Publication of results is anticipated in 2019. If this intervention is found to improve patient- and unit-directed outcomes, with evidence of cost-effectiveness, it would support the utilisation of such a scorecard as a quality standard in CCM.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open