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February 23, 2016

Organizing Critical Care for the 21st Century

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Systems, Populations, and Leadership, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor
  • 2Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • 3CRISMA Center, Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 4Department of Health Policy and Management, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2016;315(8):751-752. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.0974

Since the advent of intensive care in the mid-twentieth century, there have been debates about how the intensive care unit (ICU) should be organized and managed. Indeed, the ICU can be considered an organizational intervention. The sickest hospitalized patients are grouped into a single space, in part so they can benefit from the expertise of experienced nurses, physicians, and ancillary staff members. It stands to reason that understanding the organization of the ICU, particularly who should work in the ICU and how frequently they should work there, is critically important.