Interaction of quality and finance in the intensive care unit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The interaction between quality and finance in the intensive care unit (ICU) is complicated. While efforts to improve financial performance may inadvertently lead to reduced quality and safety, the converse is not necessarily true. Research is beginning to show that although more costly in the short term, investments in quality and safety help improve long term financial performance. This interplay of quality and finance in the ICU illustrates a broader discussion regarding quality and finance in health care. The ICU is among the most complex parts of the health care system with exceptionally skilled professionals treating the sickest patents, yet consumes a disproportionate amount of resources and is characterized by an epidemic of quality and safety lapses.This article looks at quality, safety, and finance in the ICU by examining 3 specific topics: (1) the business case for quality, (2) current and expected payment reforms that will effect quality, and (3) a discussion of Lean, a transformative management model with specific applicability to improve quality and financial performance in the ICU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Pulmonary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Financial performance
  • Health care system
  • Quality
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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