Critical illness is a significant driver of health care utilization in the US, with more than 5 million patients admitted annually to intensive care units (ICUs) and associated costs approaching 1% of the US gross domestic product. Costs are increasing due to increased ICU utilization, an aging population, and the rising costs of advanced therapies.
- Economical physiological monitoring technology embedded in ED and non-ICU hospital beds triggers alerts to a mobile ICU team.
- The mobile ICU team is sufficiently staffed to enable frequent monitoring and treatment adjustment for non-ICU inpatients of concern to floor nurses, but who donot require major invasive organ support.
- Absent a contrary order from the attending physician, within 24 hours following hospitalization, the mobile ICU team checks hospital registration data for DNR or comfort care only designation, discusses such pre-existing designation with attending physicians, and routinely initiates palliative care consults for all patients with terminal illnesses.