Redesigning the ICU nursing discharge process: a quality improvement study

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Title Redesigning the ICU nursing discharge process: a quality improvement study
Author Chaboyer, Wendy; Lin, Frances Fengzhi; Foster, Michelle; Retallick, Lorraine; Panuwatwanich, Kriengsak; Richards, Brent
Journal Name Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing
Year Published 2012
Place of publication United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the impact of a redesigned intensive care unit (ICU) nursing discharge process on ICU discharge delay, hospital mortality, and ICU readmission within 72 hours. Methods: A quality improvement study using a time series design and statistical process control analysis was conducted in one Australian general ICU. The primary outcome measure was hours of discharge delay per patient discharged alive per month, measured for 15 months prior to, and for 12 months after the redesigned process was implemented. The redesign process included appointing a change agent to facilitate process improvement, developing a patient handover sheet, requesting ward staff to nominate an estimated transfer time, and designing a daily ICU discharge alert sheet that included an expected date of discharge. Results: A total of 1,787 ICU discharges were included in this study, 1,001 in the 15 months before and 786 in the 12 months after the implementation of the new discharge processes. There was no difference in in-hospital mortality after discharge from ICU or ICU readmission within 72 hours during the study period. However, process improvement was demonstrated by a reduction in the average patient discharge delay time of 3.2 hours (from 4.6 hour baseline to 1.0 hours post-intervention). Conclusions: Involving both ward and ICU staff in the redesign process may have contributed to a shared situational awareness of the problems, which led to more timely and effective ICU discharge processes. The use of a change agent, whose ongoing role involved follow-up of patients discharged from ICU, may have helped to embed the new process into practice.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
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Copyright Statement Copyright 2012 Sigma Theta Tau International. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at
Volume 9
Issue Number 1
Page from 40
Page to 48
ISSN 1741-6787
Date Accessioned 2012-08-27
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Health Practice Innovation; Menzies Health Institute Qld
Faculty Griffith Health Faculty
Subject Clinical Nursing: Secondary (Acute Care)
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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