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Development and implementation of a regional intensive care health service model

Daniel Roberts (Medicine Program, Department of Internal Medicine, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Winnipeg, Canada)
Helen Clark (Health Sciences Center, Winnipeg, Canada)
Betty‐Lou Rock (STARS (Shock Trauma Air Rescue Society), Manitoba Operations, Health Sciences Center, Winnipeg, Canada)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 19 July 2013




The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a healthcare service redesign. Before 1998, five community hospitals in Winnipeg each managed their intensive care units (ICUs) independently, providing virtually no access to patients in rural and remote regions of the province of Manitoba; and two tertiary university affiliated hospitals were left with insufficient intensive care beds to service the rest of the provincial population in addition to their tertiary service responsibilities. The authors resolved to create a city‐wide integrated critical care services model, in order to improve patient access, quality of care and cost effectiveness.


A population demand analysis was performed and service objectives were defined. A gap analysis became the basis of an integrated service model design and an implementation plan was formulated.


Beds were redistributed among community hospital ICUs to match available nursing resources. A credentialing process was developed to establish medical competency for attending physicians. A central bed registry and a referral triage system were implemented, to ensure that any Manitoban requiring an ICU admission acquired an appropriate bed in a timely manner. A regional computerized critical care database was introduced to all ICUs. The total number of beds was reduced from 92 to 84 and total occupancy fell from 65 to 58. The new model was entirely funded from bed reductions.


This paper describes the integration of a group of hospital‐based ICUs into a regional service delivery model developed to meet the needs of a provincial population.



Roberts, D., Clark, H. and Rock, B. (2013), "Development and implementation of a regional intensive care health service model", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 26 No. 3, pp. 232-236.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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