Objectives: To evaluate resources and utilization of Intensive Care Units in Trinidad and Tobago.
Design and Methods: This was a prospective observational study to evaluate Intensive Care Units (ICU) of three public and two private hospitals in Trinidad with respect to their infrastructure, process of care and patient outcome. Structure of ICUs was assessed by interviews and personal observations. A Cost Block Model was used to determine the expenditure for ICUs. The process of ICU was assessed by Therapeutic Intervention Scoring System (TISS-28). For outcome evaluation, two prognostic scoring systems namely Simplified Acute Physiology Score (SAPS II) and Paediatric Index of Mortality-2 (PIM-2) were used.
Results: The total number of ICU beds was 27. The overall bed occupancy was 66.2%. One hundred and eighteen patients consecutively admitted to ICU during a two-month period were enrolled for process and outcome evaluation. The overall median age of patients was 44 years [Interquartile range (IQR) 25, 59].
The mean cost per patient in the public hospitals was TT $64 746 compared to $77 000 in a private hospital. The average total daily TISS per patient was 27.01 ± 5.4 (SD). The median length of stay was five days (IQR 2, 9). The overall predicted mortality was 32.9%, the observed mortality was 29.7% and thus the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) was 0.9.
Conclusions: The overall bed availability in ICUs with respect to Trinidad and Tobago’s population and case-mix is low compared to developed countries, although the process of ICU care is comparable. Outcome of patients was good in terms of risk-adjusted mortality. The study highlights the need to further increase bed-strength and optimize the resource utilization of ICUs in Trinidad and Tobago.