Objective: Protocols and order sets for the delivery of analgesia, sedation, and delirium care of the critically ill, mechanically ventilated patient have been shown to improve outcomes but are not uniform in hospitals across geographic areas. The extent to which greater order set quality is associated with improved patient outcomes is not known. We hypothesized that cardiac surgery patients cared for at hospitals with a greater analgesia, sedation, and delirium order set quality score (more guideline-concordant order sets) would have a shorter average duration of mechanical ventilation.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: All Washington State non-federal hospitals providing cardiac surgery.
Patients: All mechanically ventilated cardiac surgery patients from January 1, 2008, until September 30, 2011.
Measurements and main results: We created a multivariable linear regression model to assess the relationship between a hospital's pain, agitation and delirium order set quality, as assessed by an expert-validated order set quality score, and the average duration of mechanical ventilation of its cardiac surgery patients, independent of other hospital and patient factors. A total of 19,561 patients underwent cardiac surgery at 16 Washington state hospitals during the study period. The order set quality scores ranged from 4 to 19 with a mean of 11.8 ± 4.5. The mean duration of mechanical ventilation was 27.0 ± 196.6 hours. In the multivariable model, independent of other patient and hospital factors, a 1-point increase in the order set quality score was associated with a 3.3 ± 0.9 hour (p < 0.01) decrease in average duration of mechanical ventilation.
Conclusions: Cardiac surgery hospitals with more guideline-adherent analgesia, sedation, and delirium order sets have patients with shorter mean durations of mechanical ventilation than hospitals with lower order set quality scores.