Barriers and facilitators to adopting high value practices and de-adopting low value practices in Canadian intensive care units: a multimethod study Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ObjectiveTo compare and contrast illustrative examples of the adoption of high value practices and the de-adoption of low value practices.Design(1) Retrospective, population-based audit of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis (high value practice) and albumin for fluid resuscitation (low value practice) and (2) cross-sectional survey of healthcare providers.SettingData were collected from nine adult medical-surgical intensive care units (ICUs) in two large Canadian cities. Patients are managed in these ICUs by a group of multiprofessional and multidisciplinary healthcare providers.ParticipantsParticipants included 6946 ICU admissions and 309 healthcare providers from the same ICUs.Main outcome measures(1) The use of LMWH for VTE prophylaxis (per cent ICU days) and albumin for fluid resuscitation (per cent of patients); and (2) provider knowledge of evidence underpinning these practices, and barriers and facilitators to adopt and de-adopt these practices.ResultsLMWH was administered on 38.7% of ICU days, and 20.0% of patients received albumin.Most participants had knowledge of evidence underpinning VTE prophylaxis and fluid resuscitation (59.1% and 84.2%, respectively). Providers perceived these practices to be followed. The most commonly reported barrier to adoption was insufficient knowledge/understanding (32.8%), and to de-adoption was clinical leader preferences (33.2%). On-site education was the most commonly identified facilitator for adoption and de-adoption (67.8% and 68.6%, respectively).ConclusionsDespite knowledge of and self-reported adherence to best practices, the audit demonstrated opportunity to improve. Provider-reported barriers and facilitators to adoption and de-adoption are broadly similar.


  • Sauro, Khara
  • Bagshaw, Sean M
  • Niven, Daniel
  • Soo, Andrea
  • Brundin-Mather, Rebecca
  • Parsons Leigh, Jeanna
  • Cook, Deborah
  • Stelfox, Henry Thomas

publication date

  • March 2019