Modern ICUs are populated with intensivists—physicians specifically trained to administer critical care in moments when patients are their most fragile. Intensivist care produces better outcomes than non-intensivist care in these moments, and a multispecialty approach that considers a patient’s entire care journey improves ICU patient experience and reduces complication risks.

The success of modern ICUs relies upon their standing among primary care providers (PCPs) within the community and on-site surgeons. To increase your ICU’s reputation among these two key groups, consider the guidance below.

ICUs run the risk of excluding their community PCPs if they fail to prioritize elements of their service that appeal to PCPs when making the crucial decision of where to send their patients in need of critical care.

Consideration of PCP opinion is vital not only for referrals but also as a means of staying in tune with the needs of the community around your facility.

So what does a PCP consider when determining your ICU’s viability as a destination for their patients? Proximity is a given, but available space, clinical expertise and a track record of quality care are equally important factors. When determining where to send their patients, PCPs may ask any or all of the following questions:

Questions PCPs may ask when determining where to send critical patients  Questions PCPs may ask when determining where to send critical patients

1. Efficiency: length of stay, door-to-doctor times

2. Care quality: complication and mortality rates

3. 24/7 intensivist availability

4. Multispecialty expertise

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At the most basic level, PCPs want to know that your ICU can accommodate their patients, and they want to know that once their patient is in a bed, they will be promptly cared for and their needs anticipated. A number of factors contribute to your ICU’s ability to meet those standards, but they’re all functions of two things: efficiency and care quality. So, how do we get there?

Proven quality measures and evidence-based best practices go a long way to delivering quality care, but in an ICU, having consistent access to intensivists and multispecialty care takes care quality to the next level.

Consider adding around-the-clock intensivist availability to your ICU offering. Doing so will translate to an uninterrupted care continuum, the value of which cannot be overstated when it comes to anticipating and properly treating potential complications.

An intensivist presence will also expand your multispecialty approach. Every surgery has the potential for complications, and a multispecialty ICU means clinicians can better anticipate and develop a course of care for those complications. A consistent presence is a basic condition of those functions.

Could your facility improve in these areas? We are ready to help. Reach out to our practice development team today to learn more about our multispecialty critical care services.

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Effective communication between ICU clinicians and surgeons is a big part of ensuring that patients receive quality care throughout their time in the ICU. Fostering a healthy working relationship between those individuals leads to more effective communication and can decrease the time between consultation and treatment. Consider establishing a formal communication structure between your ICU clinicians and surgeons. While this can take a variety of formats (handover checklists, ongoing communication tools, etc.), taking the effort to clear communication pathways between the ICU and surgical suite can create a safer, more effective care continuum.

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Again, every surgery has the potential for complications. A multispecialty approach reduces that risk.

Multispecialty critical care services foster trust among surgeons by giving them the peace of mind that even before a patient enters their operating room, ICU clinicians have prepared a post-operative course of care tailored to that patient — one that anticipates post-operative complications and raises the likelihood of a positive outcome.

Combining dedicated operational and clinical leadership with multidisciplinary clinical expertise and quality management, Envision’s critical care services give surgeons and referring physicians confidence that your ICU will provide high-quality care throughout their patients’ care journeys.

Elevate your ICU today by partnering with Envision.

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