Optimizing Critical Care with the ABCDEF Bundle

In an article published in Beckers Healthcare (Kumar A, et al. 2017), a magazine geared toward health system executives, ICU Liberation Collaborative leaders highlight the ABCDEF bundle as a “newly packaged, high-yield opportunity” for institutions to optimize critical care services.

The ABCDEF care bundle elements, developed as part of the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) ICU Liberation Campaign, individually and collectively can help reduce delirium, improve pain management, and reduce long-term consequences for adult intensive care unit (ICU) patients.

Implementing the ABCDEF bundle is one way to maximize the efficiency of care, reduce costs, improve quality and optimize the safety of care associated with ICU services. This includes post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), a health condition following critical illness characterized by post-ICU-acquired dementia and physical and psychological impairments. Stressing that administrator support is essential in implementing and sustaining the ABCDEF bundle, the authors make a strong case for healthcare leaders to become better stewards of available resources, such as those provided by the ICU Liberation initiative.

For example, within seven community hospitals in California, in a study of over 6,000 patients that adjusted for severity of illness and age, the authors found a 15% higher odds of survival for every 10% improvement in overall bundle compliance by the ICU teams. They also reported a similar increase in the number of days alive without delirium or coma (thus able to have meaningful interactions with their family and loved ones).

“While policymakers and healthcare financiers are looking to improve the value of care purchased, innovations like the ICU Liberation Collaborative provide a roadmap of not only delivering such care in a location that is well-known for its high cost of care, but also aims to decrease the sequelae of such care via reductions in the toll that PICS takes on both patients and their families,” the authors conclude.

Learn more about SCCM’s ICU Liberation Campaign and access ABCDEF bundle resources by visiting www.iculiberation.org​.
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