The intermediate care unit as a cost-effective option for the treatment of medical patients in critical condition

A. Porath, H. Reuveni, G. Grinberg, D. Lieberman

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19 Scopus citations


Since the limited accessibility of general intensive care units creates a situation in which medical patients in critical condition continue to be cared for in the regular wards, we conducted a retrospective cohort study to assess the treatment outcomes in such patients referred to the medical intermediate care unit (MICU). At the Soroka Medical Center, a facility with 810 beds, of which 170 beds are in medical wards, including an 8-bed intensive cardiac care unit and a 5-bed general intensive care unit, 119 patients were referred to the MICU, directly from the emergency room or from medical wards, during the first half of 1994. Eighty percent of the patients were admitted to the MICU directly from the emergency room. The mean disease severity, as measured by the APACHE II score, was 12.9, and the mean intensity of care for these patients, as measured by the TISS scale, was 12.6. Twenty-one of the 119 patients died during hospitalization (17.6%). This mortality rate conformed to the mortality risk of 15.5%, which was calculated using prognostic formulae. The ratio of nursing staff to patient in the MICU was approximately 1:3, compared to 2:3 in the general intensive care unit and 1:12 in the wards. The mean cost of one day of hospitalization in the MICU was one-third that in the general intensive care unit and double the cost in a ward. Medical patients in critical condition can be treated in an MICU, with a savings in expenses and without impairing the patient's chances for survival.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-680
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Journal of Medical Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1995


  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Critical care
  • Intermediate care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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