Home > Services > Intensivists

CCU RoundsIn the Saint Elizabeth Critical Care Unit a
multi-disciplinary team meets in the morning and discusses every patient currently in the CCU. This is one of their patient safety initiatives.

A group of physicians, called intensivists, specialize in the critical care of hospitalized adult patients. They may consult with other physicians or completely manage your care during your stay in the critical care unit. They also work closely with your personal physician and keep them apprised, and they lead  extremely successful patient safety initiatives at Saint Elizabeth.  

Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center has been selected as a National “Mentor Hospital” by the prestigious Institute for Healthcare Safety [IHI]. They earned this honor for exceptional care of their most critically ill patients.

Saint Elizabeth medical teams are excited about being invited to join the national network of mentor hospitals established by the IHI. As part of this network they will share with other hospitals across the country, the steps they take to achieve and maintain their phenomenally high levels of care which have been proven to save lives.

Patient Safety Interventions
The IHI set in place six safety “interventions” or necessary practices for the best possible outcomes for patients. These interventions were the bedrock of their successful 18-month 100,000 Lives (Saved) campaign among 3,000 US hospitals. Since these interventions have definitively proven they save lives, more hospitals are joining in the use of these practices and the IHI is expanding its program to help save 5,000,000 lives.

“Our Saint Elizabeth clinical staff really embraced the IHI interventions from the beginning,” explains Kim Moore, VP for nursing services. “The program provided an excellent goal that we could all rally around. It made preventing infections not just about prevention but about saving lives. That’s why we are continuing these practices.”

Superior successes
Among the six IHI interventions is one designed to prevent infections developing in patients with a “central Line”---a spaghetti thin medication delivery tube inserted under their collarbone. If an infection develops at this location it’s especially dangerous, since it can spread directly into the blood stream. A series of very specific, scientifically-grounded steps must ALL be accomplished to prevent infections here. In an amazing display of dedication to clinical perfection, the Saint Elizabeth Critical Care Unit (CCU) team marked more than one full year---actually 390 days---without a single central line infection!

ZERO infections
The Saint Elizabeth critical Care team has also set a national record when they went an incredible 1,022 days--or nearly THREE YEARS---with ZERO ventilator-assisted pneumonia (VAP) developing, another IHI intervention, in their unit. For patients in this CCU and their families this means that the medical teams here pay attention to detail for every patient, offering them the best medical outcomes.  

Intensivists-the Gold Standard
Teamwork in the CCU is also credited with their successes. A special group of in-house physician heads up this process and offers what is now considered a national Gold Standard of care.

They are called intensivists. They specialize in the critical care of hospitalized adult patients. They may consult with other physicians or completely manage your care during your stay in the critical care unit. They also work closely with your personal physician and keep them apprised.

The head of the Saint Elizabeth intensivist program, Dr. Bill Johnson, explains that they manage the care of each patient in the CCU in a rather sophisticated manner. With today’s incredible technology and variety of procedures, treatments, medications, and so on available for patient care, an organized approach has the best chance of success. This includes their daily multidisciplinary “Rounds.”

“Every day begins with a multidisciplinary group meeting and discussing every single patient. We check the details: their treatments, their medications, their prognosis, every aspect of their care and evaluate how well they are improving. It takes every member of that team to give each patient the most optimal ability to recover well.”  

Those teams include the intensivist physicians, nurses, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers---every person who has anything to do with the patient’s medical care.

American Hospital Association Honored Saint Elizabeth for Patient Safety
For nearly THREE years---1,190 days---the Saint Elizabeth critical care unit (CCU) team had ZERO infections specific to patients with ventilators to assist their breathing. Because of this phenomenal work, they were selected to be included in the American Medical Association’s book, Community Connections Ideas & Innovations!

CCU TeamOn left, Barb George, RN and CCU director, along with Nancy Exstrom, RN, CCU educator, and Dr Bill Johnson, intensivist, helped lead a successful 3-year campaign with ZERO VAP infections in patients