Introduction: The measurement of quality and patient safety continues to gain increasing importance, as these measures are used for both healthcare improvement and accountability. Pediatric care, particularly that provided in pediatric intensive care units, is sufficiently different from adult care that specific metrics are required.
Body: Pediatric critical care requires specific measures for both quality and safety. Factors that may affect measures are identified, including data sources, risk adjustment, intended use, reliability, validity, and the usability of measures. The 18-month process to develop seven pediatric critical care measures proposed for national use is described. Specific patient safety metrics that can be applied to pediatric intensive care units include error-, injury-, and risk-based approaches.
Conclusion: Measurement of pediatric critical care quality and safety will likely continue to evolve. Opportunities exist for intensivists to contribute and lead in the development and refinement of measures.