Critical Care Informatics

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Intensive care medicine involves care of the sickest patients across the age spectrum, from neonates through pediatrics and into adulthood. Patients typically require invasive monitoring or advanced organ support, including invasive ventilation, dialysis, blood pressure support and extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (ECMO). The role of clinical informatics is expanding in the critical care environment, with opportunities to advance clinical care, research and training.

Perceived Need

The practice of intensive care has a great need for the application of informatics principles. In a fast-paced clinical environment, errors are unfortunately frequent and often preventable. One study estimated the rate per 1000 patient-days of adverse events at 80.5, and preventable adverse events at 36.2 [1]. Care in the ICU is also expensive, accounting for approximately 1/7th of hospital care and 4.1% of national health expenditures [2]. Monitors and frequent observations generate a vast amount of data, but this data is often not cataloged, stored and mined appropriately to be considered valuable “information” [3].