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A team approach to the introduction of safe early mobilisation in an adult critical care unit
  1. Sanjiv Chohan,
  2. Sara Ash,
  3. Lorraine Senior
  1. Department of Intensive Care, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sanjiv Chohan, Department of Intensive Care, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, UK; sanjivchohan{at}


Delirium and intensive care unit acquired weakness are common in patients requiring critical care and associated with higher mortality and poor long-term outcomes. Early mobilisation has been shown to reduce the duration of both conditions and is recommended as part of a strategy of rehabilitation of critically ill patients starting during their stay in intensive care. Our aim was to achieve 95% reliability with a standardised mobilisation process. Multidisciplinary involvement through the use of regular focus groups lead to the development of a standardised process of sitting a ventilated or non-ventilated patient at the side of the bed for a set period of time, which was called the daily dangle. Team learning from Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)cycles, as well as feedback from both staff and patients, allowed us to develop the process and achieve a median 87% reliability. Delirium rates fell from 54.1% to 28.8%. There was no change in average length of stay, and no adverse events. Ownership by the staff, development of the process by staff, iterative testing and learning, and designs for reliability were the factors behind the successful adoption of a new and challenging process. Particular changes which drove reliability were standardisation of the criteria for a dangle, standardisation of the dangle itself and a reminder included on the daily goals checklist.

  • Critical Care
  • Quality Improvement
  • Teams
  • Pdsa
  • Continuous Quality Improvement

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors SC is the guarantor of the study and content. SC was responsible for the project design and data analysis. SC wrote and submitted the manuscript, and contributed to process redesign. SA was responsible for data collection, process redesign, preparing clinical documents and leading focus groups. LS was responsible for process redesign and leading staff focus groups.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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