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Information management framework in adult critical care: experience from a large Canadian health region


The importance of information management is increasingly recognized as having a major role in supporting quality improvement and safety initiatives, and outcomes research in the ICU.


A program description of the current information management framework within all adult ICUs in Calgary, Canada.


Calgary Health Region is a large Canadian health region providing acute care to 1.2 million residents in four ICUs (approximately 4,000 annual admissions) within the Department of Critical Care Medicine. An information management framework developed during the past decade is composed of three tightly integrated components: (1) data collection system – electronic bedside charting system and its related interfaces including direct data transfer from bedside monitoring devices and linkages to other regional databases; (2) data analysis and reporting system – a data warehouse and its interfaces for producing information from the data; and (3) knowledge communication system – intranet website, to feed back the information to the users and to increase knowledge. By routinely collecting and reporting detailed, valid, consistent, and complete information on all admissions to adult ICUs, this information has proven to be a value in providing outcome measures and indicators for numerous quality improvement initiatives. A web-based surveillance system for ventilator-associated pneumonia is only one example of system effectiveness. Data obtained from this information system have also been utilized to support tens of published research projects investigating the determinants and outcomes of critical illness.


The Critical Care information management framework in Calgary has been proven an effective tool for quality and safety, and research efforts. This framework can serve as a model for ICUs to consider adopting elsewhere.


  1. Critical Care Vital Signs/ICU Report Card. Department of Critical Care Medicine External Website; []

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Shahpori, R., Delosangeles, A. & Laupland, K. Information management framework in adult critical care: experience from a large Canadian health region. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P534 (2008).

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