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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Ideal care in the Intensive Care Unit: You sleep well

Dr. Peter Pronovost's vision of care in the Intensive Care Unit:

Imagine your loved one is admitted to the ICU after cancer surgery, you are actively involved in his or her care at a level comfortable to you, providing information about symptoms and concerns, knowing what is going on and actively participating in decisions.  

Clinicians are using technology to predict what harms your loved one is at risk of suffering.  Using technology the clinicians have a checklist of the 200 therapies your loved one may need to receive on any given day, to prevent harm. You can see when they are due, when they have been done. And most are automated because the devices monitoring care are connected.  

You sleep well knowing the infusion pump would alert staff and shut off if your loved ones breathing slowed. You are confident that staff will have time to provide comfort for your loved one, listening to their concerns, holding their hand. You attend clinical rounds daily, or whenever you choose–sometimes by video conference sometimes in person.  

You are provided a daily report on how well your loved one’s symptoms were managed, how well the team performed those 200 things and the results it achieved. The staff continuously works to learn and improve. You can feel that the staff work as a team, and are joyful. You can feel you and your loved one are treated with respect and dignity. And amazingly, care is much less expensive.

All of this is possible today, technology is not a barrier. The engineers can do this now. The question is–do we believe and will we collaborate?

See another story about Dr. Pronovost.  Thanks to Dr. Pronovost for this excerpt from his speech on August 28 at the launch of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation's Patient Care Program.