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Results and costs of intensive care in a tertiary university hospital from 1996–2000

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Costs of intensive care may be 20% of all hospital costs. Population aging likely increases the demand for intensive care services, while health care has financial limitations. Therefore data about outcome and costs of intensive care are needed. We studied changes in patient characteristics, outcome, intensity of care and costs of intensive care in a tertiary university hospital in Finland. Methods: 

We analyzed retrospectively data of patients admitted to the ICU between 1 January 1996 and 31 December 2000 using the patient data management system. Postoperative and ICU patients were analyzed separately. Data included age, Apache II score, cause of intensive care admission, length and intensity of ICU care. ICU, hospital and 6-month mortality were analyzed. Intensity of care was assessed by TISS points and the annual costs of intensive care were evaluated. Results: 

The number of ICU admissions from 1996–2000 was 11,323. The proportions of ICU and postoperative patients were 39% and 61%, respectively. The mean age of the patients did not change. The mean Apache II score increased over time both in the ICU and postoperative patients. There was no change in crude hospital mortality. Total ICU costs decreased from 8,660,000€ (in 1997) to 7,480,000€ (in 2000). In the ICU patients, the costs of hospital survival decreased towards the end of the study period. Conclusions: 

We treated more severely ill patients with unchanged outcome but at lower costs towards the end of the study period. Costs of intensive care are not necessarily increasing.

Keywords: Costs; intensive care; outcome

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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