Despite the high number of intensive care beds in German hospitals compared to other European countries, intensive care medical shortages are common in daily clinical practice. This is due to a hardly established cross-departmental discharge and transfer management with missing objective discharge criteria, lack of personnel and bed closures. Aboveaverage lengths of stays and increased readmission rates to the intensive care unit also indicate an inefficient use of resources in German hospitals. Against this background, a systematic literature search was carried out on the current state of research on discharge criteria from the intensive care unit and transfer processes to follow-up wards. Between 1983 and 2020, 1,917 sources were found, 286 were selected as full text, 104 of which were considered relevant and used as the basis for this work. Approaches, such as a root cause analy- sis of bottleneck situations including the entire hospital system with its interdependent admission, transfer and discharge processes, and the use of electronic decision support in conjunction with standardised discharge criteria can improve the use of existing intensive care capacities and lead to safer and better patient flow. For better use of resources, the therapeutic outcome must be viewed along the entire clinical pathway in order to care for the right patient at the right place and at the right time. A standardised care transition management using objective discharge criteria could help to include the various stakeholders in the discharge decision and patient-transfer process to reflect patient-, caregiver-, process, and institution-specific factors, and ultimately to manage, proactively and efficiently, the available intensive care resources. Decision support in the discharge process using self-learning systems based on available data from patient data management systems is forward-looking, but must be validated more widely in clinical practice.

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Anasthesiologie und Intensivmedizin

Hiller, M. (M.), Spohn, K. (K.), Schütte, J.K. (J. K.), Bracht, H. (H.), Hering, L.D.S, Bakker, J, & Schröder, S. (2020). Objective patient transfer criteria and proactive transfer management to control ICU capacities.. Anasthesiologie und Intensivmedizin (Vol. 61, pp. 569–578). doi:10.19224/ai2020.569