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United General Hospital ICU Expansion

It is important to make use of viable evidence when making decisions that will affect the healthcare system; this practice is known as evidence-based decision making. Examples of evidence used to make decisions include research as well as analyzing data collected from the current healthcare systems (Gray, 2009). Health care decisions based on evidence tend to be effective and they positively affect patient care outcomes as well as the financial outcomes of the healthcare facility. What is more, evidence-based decisions give the healthcare facility a competitive advantage in addition to promoting organizational transparency (Gray, 2009). United General Hospital (UGH) should make use of evidence-based decision making while deciding upon expanding the ICU. The following is a presentation detailing how UGH can utilize evidence-based decision making to come up with a solution regarding the expansion of their intensive care unit.

            UGH was founded 15years ago, the population then was 90,000 residents but since then it has grown to over 190,000 residents. Therefore, the hospital now serves more than double the number of people it served 15years ago. There have been various consequences following the increase in population; for instance, there has been an increased demand for healthcare services which in turn has led to overcrowding in the hospital. UGH has 220-beds and out of these only 10 are in the ICU; as a result, the ICU now operates at 120% capacity and over 40% of the patients in the ICU experience delays while transferring to the ICU. Delay while transferring to the ICU, in turn, has several other repercussions including overcrowding in the emergency department as well as delays in scheduled surgeries. All these consequences arise due to the limited capacity of the intensive care unit at the United General Hospital.

            To solve this issue, the hospital has no other choice but to expand their ICU hence increase their capacity. Expanding the ICU will mean that there will be adequate room to admit more patients hence there will be no delay during transfer to the ICU. In turn, overcrowding the emergency department will be reduced in addition to doing away with the delay in scheduled surgeries. Currently, the ICU can only hold 10 patients which are a very small number considering that the population has grown tremendously. What is more, the population is most likely to grow in the future hence the need to expand the hospital’s capacity to admit patients. In case the hospital fails to add additional beds in their ICU, other healthcare facilities may come up offering ICU services and ultimately this will take away some of the patients who visit UGH; in turn, this will affect the finances of  UGH since they will not have clients to pay for ICU services. On the other hand, the hospital may expand their ICU and add new beds, however, the services provided may not be quality; this will lead clients to seek out better services and ultimately this will impact UGH finances (Vincent, 2011). In this way, the hospital should expand their ICU at the same time ensuring that they provide quality services; for example, the hospital can use remote monitoring or bedside monitoring to safeguard the quality of their services.

            There are several options to choose from when deciding on which is the best approach towards expanding the ICU; for instance, they can expand the ICU and subscribe to remote ICU monitoring for rooms that will serve patients with more serious problems. Also, the hospital can expand the ICU with a combination of ICU beds and regular beds which will be managed by a combination of bedside and remote ICU monitoring (Sandu, 2014). Each of these options has its advantages as well as disadvantages; expanding the ICU and using remote monitoring will ensure that the services provided will be of high quality since patients will be monitored consistently; this will also reduce delays during discharge from the ICU. However, the hospital will have ignored other areas of the hospital such the emergency department and regular beds; in addition, there will be extra costs incurred to cater for the remote monitoring. On the other hand, increasing the number of both ICU and regular beds will ensure balanced growth since the focus will not be laid on the ICU alone (Sandu, 2014). The hospital will also have an increased capacity to serve more patients since regular patients will be served as well. The disadvantage of this approach is that there will be an increase in operating costs since more staff will be hired for bedside monitoring; also, extra costs for remote monitoring will be incurred. Furthermore, there are healthcare facilities in the community that are able to handle non-emergency cases hence there is no need to add regular beds at UGH.

            Therefore, the best approach to follow would be expanding the ICU and using remote monitoring for rooms that will serve patients with more serious conditions. This approach will maximize the benefits to the hospital, patients, and community since it will have solved the problem that the stakeholders are facing. To begin with, the hospital will have an increased capacity to handle emergency cases effectively; patients, on the other hand, will enjoy the quality services provided at UGH while the need for emergency services in the community will have been met through expanding the ICU.

            The proposed recommendation will have a positive impact on the hospital’s productivity and competitiveness since remote monitoring is an effective way to manage the ICU in addition to ensuring quality services (Vincent, 2011). Also, the hospital will save on the cost of hiring more staff since bedside monitoring will not be used. Evidence used to back up the proposed recommendation include the fact that there is a shortage of ICU services in the community; other hospitals are only able to handle non-emergency cases. Also, the shortage is evident since the ICU at UGH operates at a 120% capacity.

References

Gray, J. A. M., Ison, E., & Gray, J. A. M. (2009). Evidence-based healthcare and public health: How to make decisions about health services and public health. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Sandu, E. (2014). Analysis of Quality of Life Domains in Emergency Hospital Services          Personnel. Case Study: ICU Medical Team. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences.          doi:10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n22p433Vincent, J. L. (2011). Textbook of critical care. Philadelphi

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