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Design of the ICU 

Design of the ICU
Design of the ICU

Neil A. Halpern

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date: 06 July 2022

This chapter on intensive care unit (ICU) design looks at the ICU from three perspectives—concept to occupancy, the patient room, and supportive services, and advanced informatics. The design process is complex and time-consuming, and relies upon a design team composed of the main users, architects, and hospital administrative representatives; they must develop a vision for the new unit, which includes its purpose, bed number, staffing, workflow and healing environment. The team must then balance innovation with practicality, disparate technologies with standardization and timely purchase, and desires for the best of everything with physical, space, and fiscal limitations. The ICU patient room is the core of the ICU patient, family member, and staff experiences and should be similarly designed and equipped. Supportive spaces fully integrated with the patient rooms and hospital logistic areas and systems help optimize throughput. Informatics systems that electronically integrate the patient room with all aspects of care should be deployed to intelligently utilize and smartly present and display data, manage alarms, monitor the ICU environment, develop virtual device communities, provide real time locating systems, and address local or remote telemedicine requirements.

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