Rationale: Introduction of sedation protocols has been associated with improved patient outcomes. It is not known if an update to an existing high-quality sedation protocol, featuring increased patient assessment and reduced benzodiazepine exposure, is associated with improved patient process and outcome quality metrics. Methods: This was an observational before (n = 703) and after (n = 780) cohort study of mechanically ventilated patients in a 24-bed trauma-surgical intensive care unit (ICU) from 2009 to 2011. The three main protocol updates were: (1) requirement to document Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS) scores every 4 hours, (2) requirement to document Confusion Assessment Method-ICU (CAM ICU) twice daily, and ( 3 ) systematic, protocolized deescalation of excess sedation. Multivariable linear regression was used for the primary analysis. The primary outcome was the duration of mechanical ventilation. Prespecified secondary endpoints included days of delirium; the frequency of patient assessment with the RASS and CAM-ICU instruments; benzodiazepine dosing; durations of mechanical ventilation, ICU stay, and hospitalization; and hospital mortality and ventilator associated pneumonia rate. Results: Patients in the updated protocol cohort had 1.22 more RASS assessments per day (5.38 vs. 4.16; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05-1.39; P < 0.01) and 1.15 more CAM-ICU assessments per day (1.49 vs. 0.35; 95% CI, 1.08-1.21; P < 0.01) than the baseline cohort. The mean hourly benzodiazepine dose decreased by 34.8% (0.08 mg lorazepam equivalents/h; 0.15 vs. 0.23; P < 0.01). In the multivariable model, the median duration of mechanical ventilation decreased by 17.6% (95% CI, 0.6-31.7%; P = 0.04). The overall odds ratio of delirium was 0.67 (95% CI, 0.49-0.91; P = 0.01) comparing updated versus baseline cohort. A 12.4% reduction inmedian duration of ICU stay (95% CI, 0.5-22.8%; P = 0.04) and a 14.0% reduction in median duration of hospitalization (95% CI, 2.0-24.5%; P = 0.02) were also seen. No significant association with mortality (odds ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 0.80-1.76; P = 0.40) was seen. Conclusions: Implementation of an updated ICU analgesia, sedation, and delirium protocol was associated with an increase in RASS and CAM-ICU assessment and documentation; reduced hourly benzodiazepine dose; and decreased delirium and median durations of mechanical ventilation, ICU stay, and hospitalization.
- Critical care
- Quality improvement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine