Navigation Links
Electronic health records could help identify which patients most need ICU resources

ANN ARBOR, Mich. A national shortage of critical care physicians and beds means difficult decisions for healthcare professionals: how to determine which of the sickest patients are most in need of access to the intensive care unit.

What if patients' electronic health records could help a physician determine ICU admission by reliably calculating which patient had the highest risk of death?

Emerging health technologies including reliable methods to rate the severity of a patient's condition may provide powerful tools to efficiently use scarce and costly health resources, says a team of University of Michigan Health System researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"The lack of critical care beds can be frustrating and scary when you have a patient who you think would benefit from critical care, but who can't be accommodated quickly. Electronic health records which provide us with rich, reliable clinical data are untapped tools that may help us efficiently use valuable critical care resources," says hospitalist and lead author Lena M. Chen, M.D., M.S., assistant professor in internal medicine at the University of Michigan and an investigator at the Center for Clinical Management Research (CCMR), VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.

The UMHS and VA study referenced in the article finds that patients' severity of illness is not always strongly associated with their likelihood of being admitted to the ICU, challenging the notion that limited and expensive critical care is reserved for the sickest patients.

ICU admissions for non-cardiac patients closely reflected severity of illness (i.e., sicker patients were more likely to go to the ICU), but ICU admissions for cardiac patients did not, the study found. While the reasons for this are unclear, authors note that the ICU's explicit role is to provide care for the sickest patients, not to respond to temporary staffing issues or unavailable recovery rooms.

A few integrated health care systems such as the Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare System and Kaiser Permanente Northern California have already tapped into the ability of electronic health records to generate reliable estimates of the risk of dying within 30 days for every patient on admission. This type of data could determine for instance whether a patient had a 3 percent chance or 80 percent chance of dying within the next month. Calculations are based on real-time data of laboratory results, demographics, coexisting conditions and vital signs. Authors note that this existing technology may be used to help assess ICU admissions.

"We are not suggesting this calculation be used alone in making these decisions but it's another tool that may with more research eventually help physicians making difficult triage decisions. It may potentially help address our critical care shortage too," says Chen, who is also a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

ICUs were opened decades ago to care for the sickest patients using the newest technology. Today, critical care in the U.S. costs more than $80 billion a year. With an aging population and growing demand for critical care, the shortage of ICU resources has become a major healthcare issue.

There are other benefits for healthcare institutions that explore the role of health information technology in ICU care. The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs provide financial incentives for providers who show that they are "meaningfully using" electronic health records to improve patient care.

"There are serious incentives for hospitals to use electronic health records in a meaningful way and it's important to identify aspirational goals for health IT now, " Chen says. "We may not have the abilities to achieve all of these goals today, but it's important to put them in place to support a longer term vision of how health IT might transform patient care."


Contact: Beata Mostafavi
University of Michigan Health System

Related medicine news :

1. New twist on ancient math problem could improve medicine, microelectronics
2. New American Chemical Society video: Behind the scenes tour of an electronic nose lab
3. Through The Use Of Twitter, EverSmoke, A Popular Electronic Cigarettes Company, Is Encouraging Fans to Finish the Hashtag #iPlanToBe With What They Plan to Be
4. Study examines use of a natural language processing tool for electronic health records in assessing colonoscopy quality
5. A Safe Cigarette? Yes, Electronic Cigarettes Are Carcinogen-Free
6. Electronic Cigarettes Proven as One of the Most Effective Ways to Quit Smoking
7. Electronic data methods research seeks to build a learning health care system
8. New Electronic Cigarette Free Trial Kit Adds More Years to Smokers Life by Making it Easy to Quit Smoking
9. Unique program bringing electronic medical record data to ambulances lauded
10. New Electronic Cigarette Cartridges From V2Cigs For The Summer
11. Electronic Cigarette Hub Offering Electronic Cigarette Kit with Risk Free Trial
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... TherapySites, the leading website ... Tennessee Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to ... adding exclusive benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from ... at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center ... care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Long Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... from UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School ... San Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Arkis BioSciences, a ... invasive and more durable cerebrospinal fluid treatments, today ... The Series-A funding is led by Innova Memphis, ... and other private investors.  Arkis, new financing will ... and the market release of its in-licensed Endexo® ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  In a startling report released today, National Safety Council ... a comprehensive, proven plan to eliminate prescription opioid overdoses. ... states are tackling the worst drug crisis in recorded U.S. history, ... Kentucky , New Mexico , ... the 28 failing states, three – Michigan , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Bracket , a leading clinical ... generation clinical outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at ... 26 – 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , ... Outcome Assessment product of its kind to fully integrate with ... Bracket eCOA 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: