Critical care is a medical subspecialty that is growing in importance. When it is done well, critical care can improve patient outcomes, decrease length of stay and reduce overall costs of care. So to promote excellence in the delivery of critical care services, the Keck Medical Center of USC recently created the Critical Care Institute in collaboration with the Keck School of Medicine of USC, with an aim toward both providing excellent critical care and furthering translational and interdisciplinary research into best practices and innovation in the field.

“The overarching goal of the Critical Care Institute is to bring together physicians from different specialties who provide critical care services,” explained Rod Hanners, chief operating officer of Keck Medicine of USC, CEO of Keck Medical Center and one of the Institute’s founding board members. “Working together across disciplines to align policies and practices is one way the team at Keck Medical Center is ensuring the delivery of excellent care in our various intensive care units.”

In addition, the Critical Care Institute is ideally positioned to promote innovative protocols and practices that will enhance the level of critical care both at Keck and at other medical facilities.

“While there are best-practice protocols in critical care that help achieve optimal results for patients, these protocols are not widely adhered to at a national level,” said J. Perren Cobb, MD, director of surgical critical care. “As one of the country’s leading medical centers, we can serve as model for excellence to other centers, both here in California and around the country.”

“Keck Medical’s Critical Care Institute will help ensure delivery of excellent care to our sickest patients,” said Zea Borok, MD, director of medical critical care. “Metrics and protocols with which to measure and improve quality of care will be important aspects of our processes moving forward.”

To this end, the Critical Care Institute is taking part in the ICU Liberation Campaign, a national effort to promote ICU best practice sponsored by the Society of Critical Care Medicine, which, along with the American Thoracic Society and the American College of Chest Physicians, is dedicated to advancing excellence in critical care delivery and research.

— Hope Hamashige