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The practice of critical care medicine. A national survey report. ACCP Council on Critical Care

P C Gay, R P Dellinger, J H Shelhamer and K Offord

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Medical Journal

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Aggressive reimbursement reform has been an imposing directive for care providers of ICU medicine. Timely knowledge of actual care routines obtained from a large sample of actively practicing physicians should be mandatory when developing any guidelines or practice standards. A questionnaire was therefore designed by the steering committee of the ACCP Council on Critical Care and sent to its members. The 1,294 responses were analyzed for demographics of the individual practitioner, local aspects of ICU staffing and policies, reimbursement, and a specific practice issue, nutrition. The typical respondent was aged 41 to 50 (41 percent), was a pulmonary subspecialist (68 percent), was not critical care certified (55 percent), worked 25 to 50 percent of his or her total time in the ICU (40 percent), and would continue ICU practice despite poor reimbursement (82 percent). Physicians practiced within a group (53 percent), in a 100- to 500-bed hospital (69 percent), with house staff available (60 percent), and predominantly cared for Medicare patients (55 percent). The following data may allow better judgments to be made pertaining to the implementation of care policies in the current ICU environment.

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