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J Crit Care. 2017 Aug 3;42:282-288. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.08.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Intermediate care to intensive care triage: A quality improvement project to reduce mortality.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address: dhager1@jhmi.edu.
2
Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, United States. Electronic address: bradsher@uthsc.edu.
4
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address: alihalim95@ufl.edu.
5
Critical Care Medicine Department, Clinical Center, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, United States. Electronic address: schatte6@jhmi.edu.
6
Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety, John Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address: msawyer1@jhmi.edu.
7
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address: rbrower@jhmi.edu.
8
Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States; Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States. Electronic address: dale.needham@jhmi.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Medical patients whose care needs exceed what is feasible on a general ward, but who do not clearly require critical care, may be admitted to an intermediate care unit (IMCU). Some IMCU patients deteriorate and require medical intensive care unit (MICU) admission. In 2012, staff in the Johns Hopkins IMCU expressed concern that patient acuity and the threshold for MICU admission were too high. Further, shared triage decision-making between residents and supervising physicians did not consistently occur.

METHODS:

To improve our triage process, we used a 4Es quality improvement framework (engage, educate, execute, evaluate) to (1) educate residents and fellows regarding principles of triage and (2) facilitate real-time communication between MICU residents conducting triage and supervising physicians.

RESULTS:

Among patients transferred from the IMCU to the MICU during baseline (n=83;July-December 2012) and intervention phases (n=94;July-December 2013), unadjusted mortality decreased from 34% to 21% (p=0.06). After adjusting for severity of illness, admitting diagnosis, and bed availability, the odds of death were lower during the intervention vs. baseline phase (OR 0.33; 95%CI 0.11-0.98).

CONCLUSIONS:

Using a structured quality improvement process targeting triage education and increased resident/supervisor communication, we demonstrated reduced mortality among patients transferred from the IMCU to the MICU.

KEYWORDS:

Communication; Critical care; Internship and residency; Medical education; Patient safety; Supervision; Triage

PMID:
28810207
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcrc.2017.08.002
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