[Introduction of a management system in intensive care medicine based on the safety of the seriously ill patient during the entire hospitalization process: extended intensive care medicine]

Med Intensiva. Aug-Sep 2011;35(6):354-60. doi: 10.1016/j.medin.2011.05.008. Epub 2011 Jun 30.
[Article in Spanish]


The clinical care of hospitalized seriously ill patients must be suitably proportionate independently of the functional unit to which they have been admitted. Most of these patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), where uninterrupted management is provided, with important technological and care resources. However, hospitalization of the seriously ill patient must be understood as a continuum starting and ending beyond hospital stay. Anticipating critical worsening requiring admission to the ICU would be of benefit to the patient, avoiding greater clinical worsening, and also would be of benefit to the hospital, by allowing improved resource management. Intensivists are the professionals best suited for this purpose, since they are trained to recognize the seriousness of an always dynamic clinical situation. Addressing this task implies a change in the traditional way of working of the ICU, since a critical patient is not only a patient already admitted to the Unit but also any other patient admitted to hospital whose clinical situation is becoming destabilized. In this context, our ICU has established two strategic lines. One consists of the identification of patients at risk outside the Unit and is based on the recognition, diagnostic orientation and early treatment of the seriously ill patient, in collaboration with other clinical specialties and independently of the hospital area to which the patient has been admitted. The second line in turn comprises clinical care within the actual Unit, and is based on the promotion of safety and the vigilance of nosocomial infections.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / organization & administration*
  • Critical Care / standards*
  • Hospitalization*
  • Humans
  • Safety
  • Severity of Illness Index