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The impact of organisational change on outcome in an intensive care unit in the United Kingdom

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Objectives: To study the change in outcome for patients admitted to an intensive care unit following the establishment of a team of resident medical staff and a change from an "open" to a "closed" organisational format. Design: Database review of prospectively collected data. Setting: Intensive care unit of a postgraduate teaching hospital. Subjects: 1134 admissions to the intensive care unit over a 3-year period, of whom 476 (42%) followed elective surgery. Main outcome measure: Hospital mortality corrected for illness severity by using the APACHE II scoring system. Results: Crude hospital mortality fell from 28% before the changes to 20% afterwards (P=0.01). With correction for case-mix factors, the probability of death after the changes was reduced by almost half (OR 0.51; CI 0.32, 0.82, P=0.005). Conclusion: A "closed" format of organisation of the delivery of care may result in improved outcomes for patients admitted to intensive care units.

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Final revision received: 20 February 2001

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Baldock, G., Foley, P. & Brett, S. The impact of organisational change on outcome in an intensive care unit in the United Kingdom. Intensive Care Med 27, 865–872 (2001).

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