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Collaborative; Learning Series

​​Delirium is an under-recognized, but surprisingly common problem in hospitalized ICU patients.  Up to 80 per cent of critically ill patients from various ICU populations can be identified as having delirium or subsyndromal delirium according to validated screening criteria.  Pain and agitation are risk factors for delirium while pharmacologic treatments used to manage these symptoms may precipitate delirium and are associated with additional risks.

The PAD (pain agitation delirium) Initiative is a 10-month program (February to December 2016) designed, delivered and hosted by the Faculty of the Canadian ICU Collaborative and supported by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) and Safer Healthcare Now!

The aim is to assist participating ICU improvement teams to reduce Pain Agitation Delirium PAD in critically ill patients through early and appropriate prevention, assessment and treatment by March 2017 and work on one or more of the following goals:

  • Increase the use of strategies to prevent PAD;
  • Increase use of clinically appropriate PAD assessment tools with all patients, at appropriate times to 100 per cent;
  • Appropriately treat the symptoms of PAD;
  • Improve culture, communication and team work in the ICU in preventing, assessing and treating PAD; and
  • Involve families and caregivers in the process of preventing, assessing and treating PAD.

Although the formal educational sessions provide methodology and framework, many believe the most useful aspect of a Collaborative is the opportunity to exchange ideas and learn from colleagues from across the country who are facing the same problems.

Please contact Ardis Eliason, Project Coordinator, Improvement Associates Ltd. at, for more information or to enroll in this improvement initiative.