[Skip to Navigation]
Sign In
March 1976

System-Structured Management of Acutely Ill Surgical Patients: An Alternative to the Problem-Oriented Method

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Surg. 1976;111(3):239-242. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360210033006

• The management of surgical patients requiring intensive care is complicated by abnormalities in multiple body systems. An effective method of organizing data collection and treatment is essential. The widely applied "problem-oriented" approach is not entirely satisfactory in the context of surgical intensive care. An alternative method is presented in which management is structured by body systems. The function of each system is analyzed and a plan for each is defined. Data display is arranged by systems rather than problems and is compatible with modern computer technology. A surgical patient under treatment for pancreatitis is presented to illustrate this approach. Experience with 220 patients on a residency teaching service supports the impression that system-structured management is an effective method of managing the course of an acutely ill patient and should be widely applicable to such patients in any general surgical environment.

(Arch Surg 111:239-242, 1976)

Add or change institution