2000 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
What is the Future Of The Intensive Care Unit?
Thomas M. Fuhrman, MD University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center, Lexington, Kentucky
The Intensive Care Units of the past were developed to care for postoperative patients, those on ventilators from poliomyelitis, and for those injured in battle. We now have a wider variety of patients and the future will result in more critically ill patients seeking our care. The patients will come from the extremes of ages.
Technology will continue to provide us with more information about our patients. Instant feedback will be available to guide our therapy. ICU caregivers will need one hand to fill out the ever-growing mountains of forms required for reimbursement, another hand to work on the computer that controls every aspect of the patient's care, and another hand to actually, on rare occasions, touch the patient.