Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Dorothy Brooten

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

JoAnne M. Youngblut

Third Advisor's Name

Ellen L. Brown

Fourth Advisor's Name

Timothy Page


APN Intensivists, Patient Outcomes, Healthcare Charges, APN Intensivists Initiatives, Dose Effect

Date of Defense



Intensive Care Units (ICUs) account for over 10 percent of all US hospital beds, have over 4.4 million patient admissions yearly, approximately 360,000 deaths, and account for close to 30% of acute care hospital costs. The need for critical care services has increased due to an aging population and medical advances that extend life. The result is efforts to improve patient outcomes, optimize financial performance, and implement models of ICU care that enhance quality of care and reduce health care costs. This retrospective chart review study examined the dose effect of APN Intensivists in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU) on differences in patient outcomes, healthcare charges, SICU length of stay, charges for APN intensivist services, and frequency of APNs special initiatives when the SICU was staffed by differing levels of APN Intensivist staffing over four time periods (T1-T4) between 2009 and 2011. The sample consisted of 816 randomly selected (204 per T1-T4) patient chart data. Study findings indicated reported ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) rates, ventilator days, catheter days and catheter associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates increased at T4 (when there was the lowest number of APN Intensivists), and there was increased pressure ulcer incidence in first two quarters of T4. There was no statistically significant difference in post-surgical glycemic control (M = 142.84, SD= 40.00), t (223) = 1.40, p = .17, and no statistically significant difference in the SICU length of stay among the time-periods (M= 3.27, SD = 3.32), t (202) = 1.02, p= .31. Charges for APN services increased over the 4 time periods from $11,268 at T1 to $51,727 at T4 when a system to capture APN billing was put into place. The number of new APN initiatives declined in T4 as the number of APN Intensivists declined. Study results suggest a dose effect of APN Intensivists on important patient health outcomes and on the number of APNs initiatives to prevent health complications in the SICU.





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