Patient Care

Daily Round Checklists in ICU Setting Don’t Reduce Mortality


Clinical question: Do checklists, daily goal assessments, and clinician prompts change in-hospital mortality for ICU patients?

Background: Checklists, goal assessment, and clinician prompting have shown promise in improving communication, care-process adherence, and clinical outcomes in ICUs and acute-care settings, but existing studies are limited by nonrandomized design and high-income settings.

Study design: Cluster randomized trial.

Setting: 118 academic and nonacademic ICUs in Brazil.

Synopsis: Researchers randomized 6,761 patients to a quality improvement (QI) intervention with daily round checklists, goal setting, and clinician prompting. Analyses were adjusted for patient’s severity of illness and the ICU’s adjusted mortality ratio. There was no significant difference in in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.82–1.26). The QI intervention had no effect on 10 secondary clinical outcomes (e.g., ventilator-associated pneumonia). The intervention improved adherence with four of seven care processes (e.g., use of low tidal volumes) and two of six factors of the safety climate. After adjusting for multiple comparisons, only urinary catheter use remained statistically significant.

Strengths of this study are the large number of ICUs involved and a high rate of QI adherence. Limitations include the setting in a resource-constrained nation, limited success with adopting changes in care processes, and relatively short intervention period of six months.

Bottom line: In a large Brazilian randomized control trial, implementation of daily round checklists, along with goal setting and clinician prompting, did not change in-hospital mortality. It is possible that a longer intervention period would have found improved outcomes.

Citation: Writing Group for the CHECKLIST-ICU Investigators and the Brazilian Research in Intensive Care Network (BRICNet), Cavalcanti AB, Bozza FA, et al. Effect of a quality improvement intervention with daily round checklists, goal setting, and clinician prompting on mortality of critically ill patients: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2016;315(14):1480-1490.

Short Take

More Restrictions on Fluoroquinolones

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recommended avoidance of fluoroquinolone drugs, which are often used for patients with acute bronchitis, acute sinusitis, and uncomplicated UTI, due to the potential of serious side effects. Exceptions should be made for cases with no other treatment options.

Citation: Fluoroquinolone antibacterial drugs: drug safety communication - FDA advises restricting use for certain uncomplicated infections. U.S. Food and Drug Administration website.

Next Article:

   Comments ()