Researchers Examine Barriers and Facilitators to VAP Guideline Compliance

Guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Thoracic Society (IDSA/ATS) provide recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). However, the mere presence of guidelines is rarely sufficient to promote widespread adoption and uptake. Using the Systems Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model framework, Safdar, et al. (2016) undertook a study to understand barriers and facilitators to the adoption of the IDSA/ATS guidelines.

The researchers conducted surveys and focus group discussions of different healthcare providers involved in the management of VAP. The setting was medical-surgical ICUs at a tertiary academic hospital and a large multispecialty rural hospital in Wisconsin.

Overall, the researchers found that 55 percent of participants indicated that they were aware of the IDSA/ATS guideline. The top ranked barriers to VAP management included: 1) having multiple physician groups managing VAP, 2) variation in VAP management by differing ICU services, 3) physicians and level of training, and 4) renal failure complicating doses of antibiotics.

Facilitators to VAP management included presence of multidisciplinary rounds that include nurses, pharmacist and respiratory therapists, and awareness of the IDSA/ATS guideline. This awareness was associated with receiving effective training on management of VAP, keeping up to date on nosocomial infection literature, and belief that performing a bronchoscopy to diagnose VAP would help with expeditious diagnosis of VAP.

Reference: Safdar N, Musuuza JS, et al. Management of ventilator-associated pneumonia in intensive care units: a mixed methods study assessing barriers and facilitators to guideline adherence. BMC Infectious Diseases. 2016;16:349.