Medical Field: Intensive Care Medicine and Anesthesiology
Award: Winner
Country: Serbia
Year: 2021
Research Work: Checklist for Early Recognition and Treatment of Acute Illness and Injury: An Exploratory Multicenter International Quality-Improvement Study in the ICUs With Variable Resources
Published in: Critical Care Medicine


We wanted to make sure that every ICU patient, no matter what hospital in the world they are admitted to, receives the best evidence-based care possible.


One of this year's finalists in the field of Intensive care and Anesthesiology is Marija Vukoja, MD, PhD. She is a pulmonary physician at the Institute of Pulmonary Diseases of Vojvodina and an assistant professor of Internal medicine and pulmonology at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Novi Sad in Serbia. She feels very privileged to have been selected as a finalist as it is a recognition for her and her whole team. She thanks the contest for putting the medical research in these difficult times.

The aim of her research was to determine whether the "Checklist for Early Recognition and Treatment of Acute Illness and Injury" as a decision-making tool for ICU admissions and ward rounds is associated with improvements in non-adherence to evidence-based daily care processes and outcomes in differently equipped ICUs. 

Our study was conducted in 34 Intensive care units in 15 countries on five continents and included more than 4000 patients over 4 years. Using smart technologies, we introduced a web-based decision support tool with integrated checklists into daily clinical practice. This approach has enabled us to improve adherence to best care processes and patient outcomes. To date, these quality improvement studies have been conducted primarily in high-income countries. This is one of the first global attempts to introduce checklists into daily clinical practice.

The results of their research and an improvement in the quality of the intervention were associated with lower non-adherence to daily care processes, shorter length of stay and lower mortality.

Since clinical work takes up most of her time, she uses her free time for research. She prefers to spend her free time with her four-year-old son and her husband.