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Patients in an intensive care unit (ICU) whose care is managed by "intensivists" – physicians specially trained in critical care medicine – have a greater chance of survival and a shorter hospitalization.
Results of a study by Johns Hopkins and the University of Pittsburgh showed that having intensive care experts could reduce death rates by 30 percent, potentially saving 162,000 lives.
"The magnitude of intensivists is as big as the best therapies we have, yet the opportunity to improve care with these specialists is invisible to most patients and providers," says Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study "This should be a huge focus for improving the quality of care in this country, especially since only 10 percent of hospitals employ these specialists."
For the study, which was published in the current issue of JAMA, researchers searched culled 2,590 abstracts and 26 observational studies, giving them 27 comparisons of alternative staffing strategies for ICUs.
MEDICA.de, Source: Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions