Do faculty intensivists have better outcomes when caring for patients directly in a closed ICU versus consulting in an open ICU?
Hosp Pract (Minneap). 2009 Dec;37(1):40-50
Authors: Hackner D, Shufelt CL, Balfe DD, Lewis MI, Elsayegh A, Braunstein GD, Mosenifar Z
BACKGROUND: Intensivists have been associated with decreased mortality in several studies, but in one major study, centers with intensivist-staffed units reported increased mortality compared with controls. We hypothesized that a closed unit, in which a unit-based intensivist directly provides and coordinates care on all cases, has improved mortality and utilization compared with an open unit, in which individual attendings and consultants provide care, while intensivists serve as supervising consultants.
METHODS: We undertook the retrospective study of outcomes in 2 intensive care units (ICUs)-a traditional open unit managed by faculty intensivists and a second closed unit overseen by the same faculty intensivists who coordinated the care on all patients in a large community hospital.
PRIMARY OUTCOME: In-hospital mortality.
SECONDARY OUTCOMES: Hospital length of stay (LOS), ICU LOS, and relative costs of hospitalization.
RESULTS: From January 2006 to December 2007, we identified 2602 consecutive admissions to the 2 medical ICUs. Of all patients admitted to the closed and open units, 19.2% and 24.7%, respectively, did not survive (P < 0.001, adjusted for severity). Median hospital LOS was 10 days for the closed unit and 12 days for the open unit (P < 0.001). Median ICU LOS was 2.2 days for the closed unit and 2.4 days for the open unit (P = NS). The unadjusted cost index for the open unit was 1.11 relative to the closed unit (1.0) (P < 0.001). However, after adjusting for disease severity, cost differences were not significantly different.
CONCLUSIONS: We observed significant reductions in mortality and hospital LOS for patients initially admitted to a closed ICU versus an open unit. We did not observe a significant difference in ICU LOS or total cost after adjustment for severity.
PMID: 20877170 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]