Not Enough Resources? Help is Here
The Leapfrog Group recommends that hospitals provide around-the-clock intensivist coverage in their intensive care units for the greatest patient safety. Unfortunately, there are more ICU’s in the U.S. than intensivists. In fact, The Leapfrog Group estimates that 54,000 ICU deaths each year could be avoided by following this best practice. But with more than 7,000 ICUs in the U.S. and only 7,000 (approximately) practicing intensivists, the numbers simply don’t add up. Further, the American Medical Association projects that by the year 2020 the supply of intensivists will only meet 22% of the demand.
Similar problems exist in nursing. The U.S. is experiencing and will continue to feel for the foreseeable future, the pains of nursing shortages in part due to an aging and retiring nurse population. Added stress factors for nurses – greater demands for documentation and administrative requirements, long hours, and less time providing patient care to name a few – are causing nurses to leave their professions and students to make different career choices.