To determine whether on-site physician staffing changed test and procedure use and improved patient outcome in a community hospital intensive care unit (ICU), we studied all ICU admissions for matched periods before and after the staffing change. Compared with the 463 year-1 patients, the 491 year-2 patients were no more likely to receive life-support interventions (respirators, dialysis, or pacemakers), but had substantially more monitoring interventions, such as pulmonary artery catheters (22% v 2%, P<.0001) and arterial catheters (9% v0%, P<.0001). After controlling for factors that predicted death (age, mental status at time of admission, reason for ICU admission), year-2 patients were significantly more likely to survive the ICU and subsequent hospital stay (P=.01). Nearly all of the improvement of survival rate took place among patients with intermediate likelihoods of death; this improved survival rate persisted at the 12-month follow-up (P=.01).
Li TCM, Phillips MC, Shaw L, Cook EF, Natanson C, Goldman L. On-site Physician Staffing in a Community Hospital Intensive Care UnitImpact on Test and Procedure Use and on Patient Outcome. JAMA. 1984;252(15):2023-2027. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350150023014