News | June 03, 2007

New Guide Can Help Healthcare Facilities Take Action To Protect Patients

June 4, 2007 — ECRI Institute (formerly ECRI), an independent nonprofit organization that researches best approaches to improving patient care, recently announced the availability of a new guide and CD-ROM to help healthcare professionals increase patient safety in the ICU environment.

Critical Care Safety: Essentials for ICU Patient Care and Technology provides a roadmap for implementing risk management and quality improvement plans in the ICU.

A combination of critically ill patients, high-tech equipment, and busy staff makes the intensive care unit one of the most complicated environments for healthcare facilities.

In fact, according to a 2005 study, adverse events in ICUs occurred at a rate of 81 per 1,000 patient-days; half of which the study deemed preventable.

"This guide provides hospitals with the knowledge to capitalize on opportunities to improve patient safety in the ICU," says Ronni Solomon, J.D., executive vice president and general counsel, ECRI Institute. "The wide range of tools and examples presents concrete risk reduction practices to prevent harm."

"Critical care safety initiatives adopted at hospitals like Johns Hopkins have resulted in improved patient outcomes, as evidenced by lower infection rates, lower rates of ventilator-associated pneumonia, and reduced lengths of stay," according to Kathleen Shostek, RN, ARM, BBA, senior risk management analyst, ECRI Institute. The guide incorporates details of these successful approaches.

Critical Care Safety: Essentials for ICU Patient Care and Technology combines ECRI Institute's patient safety and risk management expertise with the organization's medical device expertise. The 150-page guide can help facilities:

-- Assess the ICU environment to identify improvement priorities
-- Educate ICU staff about patient safety and engage them in improvement efforts
-- Develop clinical approaches that improve ICU patient outcomes
-- Emphasize safe selection and use of ICU medical devices and technology

Each guide comes with a CD-ROM containing time-saving tools to help critical care physicians critical care nurses, ICU managers, administrators of critical care services, clinical engineering departments, risk managers, and patient safety officers develop ICU improvement plans or enhance existing ones. Tools include:

-- Self-assessment tools to help you evaluate patient safety in critical care units
-- Sample policies
-- Education tools such as slide shows and teaching plans
-- Links to additional online resources

For more information visit: www.ecri.org/criticalcare

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