A nationwide survey of intensive care unit discharge practices

Claudia Paula Heidegger, Miriam Treggiari, Jacques André Romand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To describe intensive care unit (ICU) discharge practices, examine factors associated with physicians' discharge decisions, and explore ICU and hospital characteristics and clinical determinants associated with the discharge process. Design: Survey in adult ICUs affiliated with the Swiss Society of Intensive Care Medicine. Interventions: Questionnaire inquiring about ICU structure and organization mailed to 73 medical directors. Level of monitoring, intravenous medications, and physiological variables were proposed as elements of discharge decision. Five clinical situations were presented with request to assign a discharge disposition. Measurements and results: Fifty-five ICUs participated, representing 75% of adult Swiss ICUs. Responsibility for patient management was assigned in 91% to the ICU team directing patient care. Only 22% of responding centers used written discharge guidelines. One-half of the respondents considered at least 10 of 15 proposed criteria to decide patient discharge. ICUs in central referral hospitals used fewer criteria than community and private hospitals. The availability of intermediate care units was significantly greater in university hospitals. The ICU director's level of experience was not associated with the number of criteria used. In the five clinical scenarios there was wide variation in discharge decision. Conclusions: Our data indicate that there is marked heterogeneity in ICUs discharge practices, and that discharge decisions may be influenced by institutional factors. University teaching hospitals had more intermediate care facilities available. Written discharge guidelines were not widely used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1676-1682
Number of pages7
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Intensive Care Units
Intermediate Care Facilities
Guidelines
Physician Executives
Private Hospitals
Patient Care Team
Patient Discharge
Community Hospital
Critical Care
Teaching Hospitals
Referral and Consultation
Medicine
Surveys and Questionnaires
Physicians

Keywords

  • Critical care
  • Human
  • Intensive care unit
  • Organization
  • Practice guidelines
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

A nationwide survey of intensive care unit discharge practices. / Heidegger, Claudia Paula; Treggiari, Miriam; Romand, Jacques André.

In: Intensive Care Medicine, Vol. 31, No. 12, 12.2005, p. 1676-1682.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heidegger, Claudia Paula ; Treggiari, Miriam ; Romand, Jacques André. / A nationwide survey of intensive care unit discharge practices. In: Intensive Care Medicine. 2005 ; Vol. 31, No. 12. pp. 1676-1682.
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