Flow of Information in the ICU — An Overview

  • W. Koller


Information is the major capital nowadays. Also all health care providers have to cope with that fact. At the ICU bedside, the members of the therapeutical team form the link between information about a patient on one side and a correct and goal directed treatment decision on the other side. This patient information is growing rapidly, its mass is too huge to be worked out properly and in time by the human brain. To solve this emerging conflict, three major strategies can be used:
  1. 1.

    A randomized decrease in number and content of information betters the feehng of the overloaded doctor. Still, the now missing information has to be replaced. Dogmatas, rites and other simple yes-no decisions are helpful in finding a way, but lead unevitably to medical fundamentalism.

  2. 2.

    The use of standards is a viable compromise. It is the nature of standards, that they have to be reevaluated continuously, otherwise they result in fixed rules and again lead to dogmatism.

  3. 3.

    Proper and wise use of information, enabled by means of structured presentation, meaningful contexts and “intelligent” abstractions is still the most effective way of making decisions and acting accordingly. This is reahzed to a great extent in business, stock exchange and in the military field, but medicine is far behind. Doctors tend to accuse industry for this lack of innovation, but mostiy the developers interface between the rules of medicine and the tools of information is the weak point.



Clinical Decision Support System Anesthesia System Intensive Care Information System Therapeutical Team Formalize Decision Support 
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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General references


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1996

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  • W. Koller

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