Katie Adair and Andrew Kernohan make the case for a new way to improve standards of care
- By: Katie Rebecca Adair, Andrew F B Kernohan
As healthcare professionals we are united by our desire to help people who are ill. This desire, however, does not necessarily translate into consistent provision of the best care for all patients. Standards of best care are defined by clinical guidelines; and there is a move towards routine audit of outcomes and processes with reference to these standards. Care bundles were developed to reduce variability in care by improving the consistency with which best practice is applied.1
A “care bundle” is a collection of interventions (usually three to five) that may be applied to the management of a particular condition. It is distinct in several ways from just any checklist about patients' care. The elements in a bundle are best practices based on evidence, and all clinicians should know them. In routine clinical practice, these elements may not always all be done in the same way, making patient care vary.