This book describes how the integrated approach offered by health services research can improve the quality of care provided to critically ill patients. By focusing on the needs of the patient, health services research links conventional scientific disciplines, systems research, education, and management, with the aim of translating developments in knowledge into sustained change in culture and practice. Intensive care has much to offer in this respect, as it can both benefit from and contribute to the collaborative methodology of health services research. Although the contributions are directed at critical care, the content is relevant to all health care disciplines, including health services administration.
From the contents: Critical care: problems, boundaries and outcomes. Health services research (HSR): a domain where disciplines and decision makers meet. The structure of intensive care. Process of care assessment and the evaluation of outcome from IC. Severity of illness. Measuring treatment outcomes in IC: mortality, morbidity, and organ dysfunction. Health-related quality of life: during and following critical care. Comparing ICU populations: background and current methods. A hospital-wide system for managing the seriously ill: a model of applied HSR. Funding and support. The integration of evidence-based medicine and HSR in the ICU. What are the results: using systematic reviews to inform decision makers. Consensus methods and consumer opinion. Benchmarking in the ICU: the measurement of costs and outcome to analyze efficiency and efficacy. Assessment of medical devices. Health informatics. Registries and networks. Organizational effects on outcomes. Geographical variations in outcomes.