The hospital intensive care unit is a complex and costly care setting with up to 200 daily clinical interventions required for each patient. Unfortunately, critical care is also one of the areas in which human errors occur most frequently. Many of these errors can, and should, be prevented. That is why our goal is to eliminate preventable harms, beginning in the ICU.
Our definition of preventable harms is not specific to medical errors alone, such as infections, acquired physical impairment and delirium. We also define preventable harms as interactions with patients and their families that may cause a loss of dignity and respect or a failure to provide care consistent with their goals and values. Too often patient wishes are not known nor acted upon, and almost half of patients report a loss of dignity and respect when interacting with the health care system. Additionally, families are often excluded from conversations and information about their loved one’s health care.
Through the ICU Consortium, a collaborative of some of the leading academic medical centers and institutions in the U.S., we will examine how to redesign the health care system in order to eradicate these pervasive problems. Together this consortium will work to integrate medical and information technologies, build teams and tools and engage patients and their families to eliminate preventable harms—making care better, more compassionate and affordable.
Partners of the ICU Consortium