Onsite intensivist support is needed to improve clinical decisions and safety
An intensive care unit (ICU) is only as good as the care and decision making provided at 2 am. If we believe that intensivists really make a difference to patient outcomes, surely extended hours of onsite intensivist cover are necessary? A patient-centred approach to staffing that takes into account the potential for human error is needed. Most Australian ICUs are staffed after-hours by registrars. Some are not vocational trainees. Experience and clinical skill is variable. Onsite intensivist support tends to be concentrated throughout the day, with the on-call specialists often required to be onsite for 12 hours or more and on-call overnight. Challenges exist in providing uniform levels of clinical expertise around the clock to ICU patients while maintaining a healthy and safe work routine for clinicians.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.