The World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine (WFSICCM) has outlined the role and responsibilities of an ICU specialist in a new report, published in the Journal of Critical Care. "The clear and unequivocal message is that intensive care units (ICUs) around the world should be managed by ICU specialists", said Dr. Pravin Amin, Bombay Hospital Institute of Medical Sciences, Mumbai, India, the report’s corresponding author. “An ICU specialist is not only a team leader but also a team player in the ICU domain”, he wrote in an email to ICU Management & Practice. Dr. Amin said that all medical professionals and administrators should read this report.
Prof. Jean-Louis Vincent, WFSICCM President, says that the Task Force found the role of the ICU specialist to be very variable around the globe. The idea behind the report is not to set out a single schema but to outline the different systems that exist, he added.
See Also: End-of-Life Care in the ICU: WFSICCM Task Force Report
The Task Force recognises that while the ICU concept is accepted, recognition and the need for trained intensivists lags behind. Many ICUs across the world function as ‘open’ ICUs, and are not under the direction of a doctor trained in intensive care medicine.
The Task Force addresses 11 questions:
- Who is an ICU specialist?
- Does the presence of an ICU specialist make a difference to to outcomes of critically ill patients?
- What training is required for an ICU specialist?
- What are the competencies required?
- What is the minimum duration of training to obtain competence?
- Do we need a 24 hour presence of the ICU specialist in the unit?
- The interaction and relationship of the ICU specialist with the primary physician.
- In what way can services of the ICU specialist be best utilised for improvedpatient outcomes?
- Burnout in ICU Specialists.
- ‘ICU without walls’ and the role and responsibility of ICU specialists.
- 1Follow-up of patients after discharge from ICU
The Task Force concludes with “must-dos” for intensivists:
- promote the culture of competent, compassionate and cost-effective care of the critically ill;
- demonstrate ethical values, expertise and professionalism in day-to-day work;
- evolve a work culture that promotes collaborative relationships with members of the health care team so as to avoid and manage conflicts.
The report is available online in press in the WFSICCM’s official journal, the Journal of Critical Care.
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