Daytime intensivist physician staffing is associated with improved outcomes in the ICU. However, it is unclear whether this association persists in the era of interprofessional, protocol-directed critical care. We sought to reexamine the association between daytime intensivist physician staffing and ICU mortality and determine if interprofessional rounding and protocols for mechanical ventilation in part mediate this relationship.
Retrospective cohort study of ICUs in the Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation clinical information system from 2009 to 2010.
Forty-nine ICUs in 25 U.S. hospitals.
Adults (17 yr and older) admitted to a study ICU.
Measurements and Main Results:
We defined high-intensity daytime intensivist staffing as either a mandatory consult or closed ICU model; interprofessional rounds as rounds that included a respiratory therapist, pharmacist, physician and nurse; and protocol use as having protocols for liberation from mechanical ventilation and lung protective mechanical ventilation. Using multivariable logistic regression, we estimated the independent effect of daytime intensivist physician staffing on in-hospital mortality controlling for interprofessional rounds and protocols for mechanical ventilation, as well as other patient and hospital characteristics. Twenty-seven ICUs (55%) reported high-intensity daytime physician staffing, 42 ICUs (85%) reported daily interprofessional rounds, and 31 (63%) reported having protocols for mechanical ventilation. There was no association between daytime intensivist physician staffing and in-hospital mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.65–1.14). After adjusting for interprofessional rounds and protocols for mechanical ventilation, the effect of daytime intensivist physician staffing remained nonsignificant (adjusted odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.70–1.17).
High-intensity daytime physician staffing in the ICU was not significantly associated with lower mortality in a modern cohort. This association was not affected by interprofessional rounds or protocols for mechanical ventilation.