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From Telemedicine to a Critical Care DatabaseFrom Telemedicine to a Critical Care Database: A New Resource for National Benchmarking

Neil A. Halpern, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From the Critical Care Medicine Service, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Correspondence to: Neil A. Halpern, MD, FCCP, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Ave, C-1179, New York, NY 10065; e-mail: halpernn@mskcc.org


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST the following conflict of interest: Dr Halpern is a medical advisor to Cardiopulmonary Inc, which builds telemedicine systems.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;140(5):1111-1113. doi:10.1378/chest.11-2004
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Critical care medicine (CCM) plays a very large role in the US health-care system.1 Broad-based national-level CCM data on ICU beds, use, and costs are available in part from the Healthcare Cost Report Information System2 of the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the hospitals statistics reports of the American Hospital Association.3 The most recent analysis of these data sets shows that in 2005, there were approximately 94,000 ICU beds (in nonfederal facilities) in the United States, representing 15% of hospital beds. The ICU occupancy rate was 68%. Caring for patients who were critically ill in 2005 cost $81.7 billion; this value corresponded to 13.4% of hospital costs, 4.1% of the national health expenditures, and 0.66% of the gross domestic product.1

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