There are not many good books on this topic, and the present one includes contributions from North American and Australian experts in the field. The book has three main sections: organisation, improvement and integration, and a shorter fourth section on global and future perspectives.
The list of topics is quite comprehensive, from ICU
practitioners to computers, from quality to teamwork, from rationing to
rapid response teams. Some topics are somewhat weird, like the
“chronically critically ill”, a certainly challenging but awkward
concept. The chapters are usually well written, quite focused, but
sometimes a bit too short, especially towards the end of the book, with
only a few pages on disaster planning.
I was surprised to see the lack of participation from outside North America and Australia (except for a single author from the UK). The chapter on international perspectives is quite incomplete, as it does not cite important international studies; the aspects on critical care in low resource settings could have involved leaders from outside North America.
Potential readership is an uneasy question. Probably not the average ICU practitioner, nor specialists in the field, but more those who have an interest in hospital organization and healthcare organisation, and do not know much about critical care medicine. In just a few hours, one can grasp a number of important issues related to the specialty.
The Organization of Critical Care: an evidence based approach to improving quality. DC Scales, GD Rubenfeld, eds. Humana Press. ISBN 978-1-4939-0810-3 (hardcover); ISBN 978-1-4939-0811-0 (ebook).