The organizational and environmental characteristics associated with hospitals' use of intensivists.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: As large numbers of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients were admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in 2020 and 2021, the United States faced a shortage of critical care providers. Intensivists are physicians specializing in providing care in the ICU. Although studies have explored the clinical and financial benefits associated with the use of intensivists, little is known about the organizational and market factors associated with a hospital administrator's strategic decision to use intensivists. PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to use the resource dependence theory to better understand the organizational and market factors associated with a hospital administrator's decision to use intensivists. METHODOLOGY: The sample consisted of the national acute care hospitals (N = 4,986) for the period 2007-2017. The dependent variable was the number of full-time equivalent intensivists staffed in hospitals. The independent variables were organizational and market-level factors. A negative binomial regression model with state and year fixed effects, clustered at the hospital level, was used to examine the relationship between the use of intensivists and organizational and market factors. RESULTS: The results from the analyses show that administrators of larger, not-for-profit hospitals that operate in competitive urban markets with relatively high levels of munificence are more likely to utilize intensivists. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: When significant strains are placed on ICUs like what was experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that hospital administrators understand how to best staff their ICUs. With a better understanding of the organizational and market factors associated with the use of intensivists, practitioners and policymakers alike can better understand how to strategically utilize intensivists in the ICU, especially in the face of a continuing pandemic.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28251179
  • Author List

  • Liddle B; Weech-Maldonado R; Davlyatov G; O'Connor SJ; Patrician P; Hearld LR