Identifying Meaningful Outcome Measures for the Intensive Care Unit

Elizabeth A. Martinez, Karen Donelan, Justin P. Henneman, Sean M. Berenholtz, Paola D. Miralles, Allison E. Krug, Lisa I. Iezzoni, Jonathan E. Charnin, Peter J. Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Despite important progress in measuring the safety of health care delivery in a variety of health care settings, a comprehensive set of metrics for benchmarking is still lacking, especially for patient outcomes. Even in high-risk settings where similar procedures are performed daily, such as hospital intensive care units (ICUs), these measures largely do not exist. Yet we cannot compare safety or quality across institutions or regions, nor can we track whether safety is improving over time. To a large extent, ICU outcome measures deemed valid, important, and preventable by clinicians are unavailable, and abstracting clinical data from the medical record is excessively burdensome. Even if a set of outcomes garnered consensus, ensuring adequate risk adjustment to facilitate fair comparisons across institutions presents another challenge. This study reports on a consensus process to build 5 outcome measures for broad use to evaluate the quality of ICU care and inform quality improvement efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-152
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • adverse outcomes
  • intensive care unit
  • outcome measures
  • outcomes
  • patient safety
  • quality measurement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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