Quality Improvement Methodology to Optimize Safe Early Mobility in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Pediatr Qual Saf. 2020 Dec 28;6(1):e369. doi: 10.1097/pq9.0000000000000369. eCollection Jan-Feb 2021.


Utilization of robust quality improvement methodology in conjunction with traditional interventions to enhance an Early Mobility program (EMP) in a tertiary pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).

Methods: EMP was implemented in our PICU in May 2017. The percentage of appropriate physical and occupational therapist consults were determined. We also evaluated the activity levels received by the patient and the levels for which they qualified based on their medical condition. Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) was performed to identify potential complications related to the mobilization of critically ill children. We created 4 simulation scenarios based on FMEA prioritized results.

Results: After the implementation of EMP, appropriate physical and occupational therapist consults significantly increased (P < 0.0001). However, most patients still failed to receive the optimal level of activity recommended by protocol. This failure was partly due to concern for safety events during mobilization. FMEA identified vital sign changes [Risk Priority Number (RPN) 97.8], staff injury (RPN 64), and pain/anxiety (RPN 60.5) as potential safety events. We performed various in-situ simulation sessions based on these potential events. In post-simulation evaluations, 100% of participants agreed that the simulation experience would improve their performance in the actual clinical setting. Feedback from simulations led to the development of an EM patient safety checklist and clinical pathway.

Conclusions: We describe a novel technique of using FMEA to develop scenarios that simulate potential adverse events to optimize safe EM in PICU. An EM checklist and pathway can guide in the implementation of safe EMP.