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Nurs Res. 1995 Nov-Dec;44(6):324-31.

Patient outcomes for the chronically critically ill: special care unit versus intensive care unit.

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1
University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing, PA, USA.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of a low-technology environment of care and a nurse case management case delivery system (special care unit, SCU) with the traditional high-technology environment (ICU) and primary nursing care delivery system on the patient outcomes of length of stay, mortality, readmission, complications, satisfaction, and cost. A sample of 220 chronically critically ill patients were randomly assigned to either the SCU (n = 145) or the ICU (n = 75). Few significant differences were found between the two groups in length of stay, mortality, or complications. However, the findings showed significant cost savings in the SCU group in the charges accrued during the study period and in the charges and costs to produce a survivor. The average total cost of delivering care was $5,000 less per patient in the SCU than in the traditional ICU. In addition, the cost to produce a survivor was $19,000 less in the SCU. Results from this 4-year clinical trial demonstrate that nurse case managers in a SCU setting can produce patient outcomes equal to or better than those in the traditional ICU care environment for long-term critically ill patients.

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PMID:
7501485
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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