Background: We determined whether an audit on the adherence to guidelines for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) can improve the outcomes of patients in intensive care units (ICUs).
Methods: This study was conducted at 35 ICUs in 30 hospitals. We included consecutive, adult patients hospitalized in ICUs for 3 days or more. After a 3-month baseline period followed by the dissemination of recommendations, an audit on the compliance to recommendations (audit period) was followed by a 3-month cluster-randomized trial. We randomly assigned ICUs to either receive audit and feedback (intervention group) or participate in a national registry (control group). The primary outcome was the duration of ICU stay.
Results: Among 1856 patients enrolled, 602, 669, and 585 were recruited in the baseline, audit, and intervention periods, respectively. The composite measures of compliance were 47% (interquartile range [IQR], 38-56%) in the intervention group and 42% (IQR, 25-53%) in the control group (P = .001). As compared to the baseline period, the ICU lengths of stay were reduced by 3.2 days in the intervention period (P = .07) and by 2.8 days in the control period (P = .02). The durations of ICU stay were 7 days (IQR, 5-14 days) in the control group and 9 days (IQR, 5-20 days) in the intervention group (P = .10). After adjustment for unbalanced baseline characteristics, the hazard ratio for being discharged alive from the ICU in the control group was 1.17 (95% confidence interval, .69-2.01; P = .10).
Conclusions: The publication of French guidelines for HAP was associated with a reduction of the ICU length of stay. However, the realization of an audit to improve their application did not further improve outcomes.
Clinical trials registration: NCT03348579.
Keywords: guidelines; hospital-acquired pneumonia; intensive care unit; quality improvement program.
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