A pilot study to test the use of a checklist in a tertiary intensive care unit as a method of ensuring quality processes of care

Anaesth Intensive Care. 2006 Jun;34(3):322-8. doi: 10.1177/0310057X0603400222.


This pilot study aimed to test the use of a checklist as a method of ensuring that certain processes of care are performed routinely and systematically in a tertiary intensive care unit. The pilot involved the development of a process indicator checklist, its implementation and review. The checklist contained 16 items sourced from the literature or deemed important by local clinicians. Checklists were completed on the morning round for all adult patients admitted to the unit for approximately one month. Baseline and evaluation surveys were conducted with medical staff to assess both the benefits and shortcomings of using the checklist. Results demonstrated good compliance in completing the checklist (81%) and that when checked, certain aspects of care were not always delivered when appropriate. At the conclusion of the study the majority of medical staff believed that care in the intensive care unit actually improved with the use of the checklist, and all thought that it assisted in ensuring that good quality care was delivered. The checklist is a useful tool that can be readily applied to facilitate best practice and quality in everyday clinical care, ultimately leading to better health outcomes for patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Care / standards*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Pilot Projects
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*