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RCGP Quick guide: Care bundles

Published: 24th January 2017

This is an accepted method of measuring more than one indicator is known as a care bundle.

The definition of a care bundle from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement is as follows:

“A bundle is a structured way of improving the processes of care and patient outcomes. A small, straightforward set of evidence-based practices – generally three to five – that, when performed collectively and reliably, have been proven to improve patient outcomes.”

Care bundles are useful when you wish to implement a series of indicators that are all important in achieving the outcome. They provide an all or nothing measurement and the achievement is measured over time.

Download RCGP Quick guide: Care bundles

How to

Care bundles are applied to a defined patient population and care settings over a defined time period and it is important that they are not seen as simple checklists. The indicators ideally are evidence-based and relate to specific patient group or condition.

Taking the example of diabetic indicators, all of the following would have to be achieved:

  • BMI measurement
  • BP measurement
  • HbA1c measurement
  • Cholesterol measurement
  • Record of smoking status
  • Foot examination
  • Albumin: creatinine ratio
  • Serum creatinine measurement.

Each indicator is one that is routinely delivered or considered for every patient within a time period.

You then:

Step 1: Measure each indicator

Step 2: All measures must be achieved before the bundle is complete

Step 3: Reflect on the results

Step 4: Plan and test any changes required

Step 5: Monitor the change by continuing to use the bundle

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