Influence of full-time intensivist and the nurse-to-patient ratio on the implementation of severe sepsis bundles in Korean intensive care units

Division of Pulmonary, Sleep, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, 425-707 Republic of Korea.
Journal of critical care (Impact Factor: 2). 05/2012; 27(4):414.e11-21. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2012.03.010
Source: PubMed


The reported actual compliance for severe sepsis bundles was very low, suggesting the presence of barriers to their implementation. The purpose of this study was to assess the influence of full-time intensivist and nurse-to-patient ratio in Korean intensive care units (ICUs) on the implementation of the severe sepsis bundles and clinical outcome.
A total of 251 patients with severe sepsis were enrolled from 28 adult ICUs during the July, 2009. We recorded the organizational characteristics of ICUs, patients' characteristics and clinical outcomes, and the compliance for severe sepsis bundles.
Complete compliance with the resuscitation bundle and totally complete compliance with all element targets for resuscitation and management bundles were significantly higher in the ICU with full-time intensivist and a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:2 (P < .05). The hazard ratio (HR) for hospital mortality was independently reduced by the presence of full-time intensivist (HR, 0.456; 95% confidence interval, 0.223-0.932), and a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:2 was independently associated with a lower 28-day mortality (HR, 0.459; 95% confidence interval, 0.211-0.998).
The full-time intensivist and the nurse-to-patient ratio had a substantial influence on the implementation of severe sepsis bundles and the mortalities of patients with severe sepsis.

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    • "Only 7.7% of adult ICUs were staffed by physician specialists for 5 days each week. The outcome of severe sepsis and compliance with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign in Korea was poor in ICUs without fulltime intensivists (1). In several studies that evaluated the association between ICU physician staffing and patient outcomes, higher staffing of intensivists was associated with lower hospital mortality and morbidity (13-17). "
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