Validating a process-of-care checklist for intensive care units

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, 2013, 41 (3), pp. 342 - 348
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Early evidence suggests that checklists are one way of ensuring required processes of care are delivered to intensive care unit patients. Evidence to date however, has not explicitly detailed methods of checklist validation in these settings. This study aimed to test the validity of a 'process-of-care' checklist for measuring and ensuring daily care delivery in an intensive care unit. A retrospective audit of a random selection of patient medical records was undertaken to compare with checklist data completed during the same time frame. Documentation in the patients' medical records was used as a proxy measure for actual completion of care. A specific audit tool extracted information from both the checklist and the medical record on the following processes of care: nutrition, weaning from ventilation, pain, glucose control, sit out of bed, bowel management, deep vein thrombosis and stress ulcer prophylaxis. These two data sources were compared using the Spearman's rho correlation coefficient. The two forms of documentation were significantly correlated (P=0.01) for all but one of the checklist items (pain). Findings provided support for the concurrent validity of an intensive care unit process-of-care checklist. Further research is required for checklist validity and reliability testing prior to, or in conjunction with, a planned prospective intervention study.
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