What If We Took The Walls Off The ICU?

In the early ’90s, research identified that patients who went into cardiac arrest had documented signs of clinical deterioration 8 to 24 hours prior to coding. Upon further investigation, these patients progressed to cardiac arrest because of one (or more) of these three factors: failure to recognize early signs of clinical deterioration, failure to communicate, and/or failure to intervene. The solution? What if we “took the walls” off of our ICU? Which is essentially the concept of our CCOT (or, Critical Care Outreach Team) which, within its first 48 hours after launching at St. Paul’s, had supported 28 patient visits. A multidisciplinary critical care team made up of registered nurses, registered respiratory therapists and physicians act as an on-demand consult team for other program areas throughout the hospital, responding within 5 minutes of a call. Early intervention is key,” says ICU CNE Mia Marles. “Successful outreach teams depend on the unit team to call early, and call often. You don’t have to be able to put a finger on “the why” – just that you have a feeling that something isn’t right with your patient is enough of a reason to pick up the phone and call us.”