This report provides analyses and perspective of a survey of critical care workforce, workload, and burnout among the intensivists and advanced practice providers of established U.S. and Canadian critical care organizations and provides a research agenda.
A 97-item electronic survey questionnaire was distributed to the leaders of 27 qualifying organizations.
United States and Canada.
Leaders of critical care organizations in the United States and Canada.
Data Synthesis and Main Results:
We received 23 responses (85%). The critical care organization survey recorded substantial variability of most organizational aspects that were not restricted by the critical care organization definition or regulatory mandates. The most common physician staffing model was a combination of full-time and part-time intensivists. Approximately 80% of critical care organizations had dedicated advanced practice providers that staffed some or all their ICUs. Full-time intensivists worked a median of 168 days (range 42–192 d) in the ICU (168 shifts = 24 7-d wk). The median shift duration was 12 hours (range, 7–14 hr), and the median number of consecutive shifts allowed was 7 hours (range 7–14 hr). More than half of critical care organizations reported having burnout prevention programs targeted to ICU physicians, advanced practice providers, and nurses.
The variability of current approaches suggests that systematic comparative analyses could identify best organizational practices. The research agenda for the study of critical care organizations should include studies that provide insights regarding the effects of the integrative structure of critical care organizations on outcomes at the levels of our patients, our workforce, our work practices, and sustainability.