Outcomes in Medical Intensive Care Patients Housed in Geographically Distant Units.
Lazar MH, Moscoso EE, and Jennings JH. Outcomes in Medical Intensive Care Patients Housed in Geographically Distant Units. J Intensive Care Med 2019; Epub ahead of print.
Journal of intensive care medicine
OBJECTIVE:: The purpose of this study is to determine whether in patients admitted to a medical intensive care unit (ICU) service there are outcome differences between those in a medical ICU bed ("home") and a geographically distant subspecialty ICU bed ("overflow").
METHODS:: We performed a retrospective cohort study of 4091 patients admitted to a medical ICU of a large tertiary-care urban teaching hospital. Depending on bed availability, some patients were housed in surgical or cardiac subspecialty ICUs while still being cared for by the primary medical ICU service. We assessed the association of these overflow patients with readmission rates and ICU and hospital length of stay (LOS). Potential differences in care was assessed by measuring the number of central line days, urinary catheter days, and ventilator days.
RESULTS:: Of the 4091 consecutive patients admitted to the medical ICU, 362 (9%) were housed in an overflow ICU and 3729 (91%) were home patients. There was no difference in demographics, patient characteristics, ICU admission diagnosis, or risk of mortality between the 2 groups. Compared to home patients, overflow patients had a higher rate of readmission to the ICU (10.5% vs 6.63% respectively P = .006), a slightly shorter ICU LOS (median 2 [interquartile range, IQR: 1-4] days versus home group of 2 [IQR: 1-5] days; P = .001), and a slightly longer hospital LOS (overflow 7 [IQR: 4-17] days vs home 7 [IQR: 4-13] days, P = .001). There was no differences in number of central venous catheter days, urinary catheter days, ventilator days, or mortality.
CONCLUSIONS:: Medical ICU patients who are housed in ICUs geographically distant from the primary team's location have increased morbidity when compared to patients admitted to the home ICU. However, there are no differences in number of central venous catheter days, urinary catheter days, ventilator days, or mortality.
ePub ahead of print