Implementing an ICU outreach team model

Betty Wolfe
Dynamics: the Official Journal of the Canadian Association of Critical Care Nurses 2008, 19 (1): 24-9
There is an increasing need for critical care expertise outside of the intensive care unit (ICU). This is particularly related to high acuity levels and limited nursing resources. Teams of critical care health care providers have been formed to meet this need. Team structure and services provided vary according to the organization's need and the resources available. In this article, the process of establishing an ICU outreach team without additional resources, in a 200-bed tertiary care hospital in central Saskatchewan is presented. The team responds to calls from within the hospital to provide critical care expertise to patients about whom the professional caregiver is concerned, or patients who have early warning signs of physiological distress. Implementation of the team has been successful in improving timely patient care, providing a resource for nurses to access for their patients, and providing an opportunity for education and support for nurses on inpatient units.

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