Collaborative cohort study of an intervention to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia in the intensive care unit

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2011 Apr;32(4):305-14. doi: 10.1086/658938.


Objective: To evaluate the impact of a multifaceted intervention on compliance with evidence-based therapies and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) rates.

Design: Collaborative cohort before-after study.

Setting: Intensive care units (ICUs) predominantly in Michigan.

Interventions: We implemented a multifaceted intervention to improve compliance with 5 evidence-based recommendations for mechanically ventilated patients and to prevent VAP. A standardized CDC definition of VAP was used and maintained at each site, and data on the number of VAPs and ventilator-days were obtained from the hospital's infection preventionists. Baseline data were reported and postimplementation data were reported for 30 months. VAP rates (in cases per 1,000 ventilator-days) were calculated as the proportion of ventilator-days per quarter in which patients received all 5 therapies in the ventilator care bundle. Two interventions to improve safety culture and communication were implemented first.

Results: One hundred twelve ICUs reporting 3,228 ICU-months and 550,800 ventilator-days were included. The overall median VAP rate decreased from 5.5 cases (mean, 6.9 cases) per 1,000 ventilator-days at baseline to 0 cases (mean, 3.4 cases) at 16-18 months after implementation (P < .001) and 0 cases (mean, 2.4 cases) at 28-30 months after implementation (P < .001). Compared to baseline, VAP rates decreased during all observation periods, with incidence rate ratios of 0.51 (95% confidence interval, 0.41-0.64) at 16-18 months after implementation and 0.29 (95% confidence interval, 0.24-0.34) at 28-30 months after implementation. Compliance with evidence-based therapies increased from 32% at baseline to 75% at 16-18 months after implementation (P < .001) and 84% at 28-30 months after implementation (P < .001).

Conclusions: A multifaceted intervention was associated with an increased use of evidence-based therapies and a substantial (up to 71%) and sustained (up to 2.5 years) decrease in VAP rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infection Control* / methods
  • Infection Control* / statistics & numerical data
  • Intensive Care Units* / organization & administration
  • Intensive Care Units* / statistics & numerical data
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Ventilator-Associated / prevention & control*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects