The benefit of continuous on-site presence by a staff academic critical care specialist in the intensive care unit of a teaching hospital is not known. We compared the quality of care and patient/family and provider satisfaction before and after changing the staffing model from on-demand to continuous 24-hr critical care specialist presence in the intensive care unit.
Two-year prospective cohort study of patient outcomes, processes of care, and family and provider survey of satisfaction, organization, and culture in the intensive care unit.
Intensive care unit of a teaching hospital.
Consecutive critically ill patients, their families, and their caregivers.
Introduction of night-shift coverage to provide continuous 24-hr on-site, as opposed to on-demand, critical care specialist presence.
Of 2,622 patients included in the study, 1,301 were admitted before and 1,321 after the staffing model change. Baseline characteristics and adjusted intensive care unit and hospital mortality were similar between the two groups. The nonadherence to evidence-based care processes improved from 24% to 16% per patient-day after the staffing change (p = .002). The rate of intensive care unit complications decreased from 11% to 7% per patient-day (p = .023). When adjusted for predicted hospital length of stay, admission source, and do-not-resuscitate status, hospital length of stay significantly decreased during the second period (adjusted mean difference −1.4, 95% confidence interval −0.3 to −2.5 days, p = .017). The new model was considered optimal for patient care by the majority of the providers (78% vs. 38% before the intervention, p < .001). Family satisfaction was excellent during both study periods (mean score 5.87 ± 1.7 vs. 5.95 ± 2.0, p = .777).
The introduction of continuous (24-hr) on-site presence by a staff academic critical care specialist was associated with improved processes of care and staff satisfaction and decreased intensive care unit complication rate and hospital length of stay.
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (OG); Associate Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (BA); Statistical Programmer Analyst, Division of Biostatistics, Mayo Clinic (ACH); Study Coordinator in Training, Mayo Clinic (TK), Rochester, MN; Assistant Professor, Medical Faculty, Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Unit, Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey (MY); Research Assistant, University of Tennessee, Memphis, Memphis, TN (SFM); Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Consultant, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic (JTR); Clinical Nurse Specialist, Medical Intensive Care Unit, St. Mary’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic (LKE); Assistant Professor of Medicine and Consultant, Departments of Pulmonary Disease and Critical Care Medicine and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic (TRA); Professor of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic (SGP); Professor of Medicine and Physiology, Mayo Clinic (RDH), Associate Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine (MEW), Rochester, MN.
Supported, in part, by NHLBI grant 1 K23 HL087843-01A1 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, MD; and a grant from Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN.
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