How safe is my intensive care unit? Methods for monitoring and measurement

Sean M. Berenholtz, Aliaksei Pustavoitau, Steven J. Schwartz, Peter J. Pronovost

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Patient safety is attracting increasing attention. How we monitor and measure safety, however, is not well defined. In this review we describe a conceptual model for monitoring and measuring safety, describe the development of a safety scorecard, and provide an example of how this scorecard is used in the ICU. RECENT FINDINGS: Our safety scorecard stratifies measures into two categories. One category uses valid rate-based measures to evaluate: How often do we provide the interventions that patients should receive? (process measure); and How often do we harm patients? (outcome measure). The second category includes measures that cannot be expressed as valid rates: How do we know we learned from defects? (structural measure); and How well have we created a culture of safety? (context measure). Measures within each domain should be important and valid, and organizations should be able to use the measures to improve patient safety. SUMMARY: We present a framework for a patient safety scorecard to measure and monitor patient safety. This safety scorecard is a valid and practical tool for ICUs to track progress of efforts to improve patient safety and answer the question, how safe is my ICU?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-708
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in critical care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Measures
  • Quality of care
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'How safe is my intensive care unit? Methods for monitoring and measurement'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this