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June 15, 2022

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Advancing a Service Line of Excellence: Integrated Critical Care in Florida

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Recent years have spotlighted the necessity of dedicated critical care in healthcare facilities across the country. Beyond the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, intensive care clinicians bring quality, specialty and skill to hospitals each day. TeamHealth partnered with a 400 plus-bed hospital to bring the central Florida, community integrated critical care.

Forging Strong Bonds

TeamHealth’s partnership with the facility extends beyond critical care. The team also provides hospital medicine and emergency medicine, including an emergency department decision unit, and obstetrics and gynecological hospitalist coverage. These services collaborate daily to ensure the best possible care for patients.

The integrated approach at the facility enhances patient care and experiences. Most notably, the transition of care from the emergency department to critical care or hospitalist care is smooth and unbroken. The value of this integration was never more pronounced than during disaster.

Critical Care through COVID-19

Clinicians and healthcare administrators endure the ongoing trials of the COVID-19 pandemic daily. Yet, advances in vaccination, public health measures and an understanding of care for COVID-19 patients have allowed teams to persevere. During the earliest days of the pandemic, though, healthcare facilities faced an unforeseen and unknown disease. While this affected all healthcare services, one of the most impacted groups were critical care clinicians, charged with caring for a facility’s most vulnerable patients.

Located in central Florida, the facility dealt with persistent surges in COVID-19 cases. At the height of the pandemic, they had more than double the ICU’s capacity of patients on ventilators. With an older population in the surrounding community, intensive care support was vital. The entire critical care team, the facility staff and other clinical departments all faced the unknown together.

The active collaboration among the integrated teams was felt most when critical care leadership worked with facility leadership to allow temporary, emergency privileges for emergency department physicians to work in the ICU. In addition, with counterparts across the country, TeamHealth’s Critical Care Committee was able to synthesize and cascade information to teams and mobilize resources, providing the most up-to-date information on treatment, proning protocols and more.

 “A Service Line of Excellence”

At the facility, the critical care team is an integral part of the hospital’s continuum of care. The critical care unit consists of 36 beds and is part of a larger unit that includes cardiac care, cardiothoracic surgery and intensive care. As a high-acuity facility, critical care leadership sought to close the ICU unit to allow for the hospital to admit patients under the care of a dedicated intensivist. This has been one of the team’s greatest successes, as closing the unit allows for specialized, assigned care for patients.

As we grow and start doing more advanced level of care and procedures, we are developing a service line of excellence for people to recognize that we can manage you from the run-of-the-mill diseases and illnesses and surgeries to the more complex – really the all-inclusive nature of what a hospital should be is available here because we have TeamHealth in the ICU to be able to manage whatever we need. – Chief Medical Officer

The team has also seen crucial improvements in key metrics and indicators of quality care. For example, length of stay and ventilator days have both decreased since the pandemic surges stabilized. Not only has the team sustained quality metric improvements, but patient experience scores have also increased.

TeamHealth Critical Care

With a strong foundation in emergency medicine and hospital medicine, TeamHealth is proud to provide specialized care to our facility partners, including critical care support. When these services and our other specialty lines are integrated, we can transform quality and experience. Moreover, our ability to quickly respond when our partners need us most allows us to walk through disaster hand-in-hand. To learn more about our dedicated intensive care program and integrated services, please contact us.