Background: Benchmark data from the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) identified an opportunity for improvement in our trauma programme. Our unexpected return to the intensive care unit (ICU) was found to be higher than the national averages and we also noticed that our readmission rate had increased. We chose to address these complications as continuous quality improvement projects. It was hypothesized that restructuring the workflow of the trauma advanced practice providers (APPs) to focus on the delivery of comprehensive clinical care would decrease return to ICU and readmission rates of trauma patients.Methods: The development of the APP programme occurred from 2012 to 2014. First, APP daily shifts were extended to mirror the resident physicians' coverage. Second, the APPs' original job description was expanded from 'task-oriented' workflow to providing comprehensive clinical care. Third, the APPs were involved in the evaluation and decision-making process for transferring trauma patients from the ICU. Finally, the APPs implemented a new discharge process that included all information in a standardized format and a follow-up phone call 24-48 hours after discharge. The trauma registry at our verified, academic level I trauma center was use to assess our ICU and hospital readmission rates during the time we instituted the new APP workflow programme.Results: In 2012, our ICU readmission rate was 5.7% (TQIP=1.9%) but then decreased to 4.4% in 2013 (TQIP=2.5%) and 2.1% in 2014 (TQIP=2.8%). Our hospital readmission rate was 2.0% in 2012 but then decreased to 1.38% and 0.96% over the next 2 years.Conclusions: After extending the APP service coverage, implementing a comprehensive clinical care model and standardizing the discharge process, our unplanned return to ICU rates have decreased to below the TQIP national average and hospital readmission rates have also decreased by half.Level of evidence: III.
View details for PubMedID 29766082