Evaluation of performance of ICUs

  • J. R. Le Gall
Conference paper


The performance of an intensive care unit (ICU) has different aspects. For many years ICU performance was synonymous with standard mortality ratio (SMR). Nowadays, however, other aspects of performance are taken into account, which are concerned with the patients’, families’, nurses’, doctors’ and providers’ points of view. Several studies, on the other hand, have demonstrated the relationship between organisation and performance. Improving ICU performance requires that we shift from a paradigm that concentrates on individual performance to a different paradigm that emphasises the need to assess and improve ICU systems and processes. Various observations illustrate the importance of ICUs. One third to one half of Americans spend time in an ICU during their final year of life, and one fifth die there [1]. Quite apart from the death rates, suffering is common among ICU patients [2]; and substantial dissatisfaction among the relatives and friends of ICU patients indicates that suffering is not limited to the patients. In addition, the economic costs of ICU care are staggering. Certain subsets of iatrogenic complications in ICUs occur in 31% of patients and are severe in 13% of patients. Errors were observed in 1% of all the activities performed each day in patients in an Israeli ICU, with a higher rate among physicians than among nurses [3]. Poor communication, teamwork, and problem solving are common among ICU staff and are perceived as being more prevalent and important by ICU nurses than physicians [4].


Hospital Mortality Standard Mortality Ratio Intensive Care Unit Discharge Intensive Care Unit Care Intensive Care Unit Nurse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. R. Le Gall
    • 1
  1. 1.Intensive Care UnitHôpital Saint LouisParisFrance

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