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Intensive Care Med. 2004 Jul;30(7):1398-404. Epub 2004 Apr 27.

Introducing Critical Care Outreach: a ward-randomised trial of phased introduction in a general hospital.

Author information

1
York Hospitals NHS Trust, Bootham Park, York, YO30 7BY, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of introducing a critical care outreach service on in-hospital mortality and length of stay in a general acute hospital.

DESIGN:

A pragmatic ward-randomised trial design was used, with intervention introduced to all wards in sequence. No blinding was possible.

SETTING:

Sixteen adult wards in an 800-bed general hospital in the north of England.

PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS:

All admissions to the 16 surgical, medical and elderly care wards during 32-week study period were included (7450 patients in total, of whom 2903 were eligible for the primary comparison).

INTERVENTIONS:

Essential elements of the Critical Care Outreach service introduced during the study were a nurse-led team of nurses and doctors experienced in critical care, a 24-h service, emphasis on education, support and practical help for ward staff.

MEASUREMENTS AND RESULTS:

The main outcome measures were in-hospital mortality and length of stay. Outreach intervention reduced in-hospital mortality compared with control (two-level odds ratio: 0.52 (95% CI 0.32-0.85). A possible increased length of stay associated with outreach was not fully supported by confirmatory and sensitivity analyses.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study suggests outreach reduces mortality in general hospital wards. It may also increase length of stay, but our findings on this are equivocal.

Comment in

PMID:
15112033
DOI:
10.1007/s00134-004-2268-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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