Report Finds Majority of U.S. Hospitals Still Fail to Implement ICU Policies Known to Dramatically Lower Patient Death RatesMartina Dolan | July 18, 2016
Hospital intensive care units (ICU) see 4.6 million people annually, among them some of the nation’s sickest and most vulnerable patients. Studies show that patient survival increases by 40 percent when ICUs are staffed appropriately with highly specialized physicians called intensivists, yet a new report released by health care non-profit The Leapfrog Group and analyzed by Castlight Health indicates that only 47 percent of hospitals reporting in the 2015 Leapfrog Hospital Survey have the recommended intensivist coverage in place. Leapfrog’s standard calls for hospitals to have one or more board-certified intensivists on staff, exclusively providing care in the ICU, available for eight hours per day, seven days a week, and for intensivists to return calls within five minutes, 95 percent of the time. Hospitals can partially meet the standard by having intensivists available via telemedicine.