'Pit crew’ competition supports change in extubation timing

Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C. safely decreased ventilation times for patients after cardiac surgery, thanks to a timely extubation protocol and more efficient workflow processes. To encourage adoption of the protocol, researchers posted a colorful racetrack poster in the unit breakroom. It featured cars with names of the interdisciplinary “pit crews,” whose patients were successfully extubated within the recommended six-hour window. The racetrack generated enthusiasm, created healthy competition between peers and made best practices socially desirable. Extubating cardiac surgery patients within six hours of being admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with fewer adverse outcomes, shorter ICU stays and lower costs. (Newswise news release, 5/26/21)