The delivery of health care has become increasingly complex, and most clinical research focuses on new approaches to diagnosis and treatment. There have been significant advances in medical technology used in patient treatment and care. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in an acute hospital is designed to treat the most complex and unstable medical and surgical patient. Most ICU admissions occur because the patient requires technology that is available only within the ICU for monitoring or therapeutic purposes (Scales et al, 2004) . In the past decade, the medical technology and systems used in Intensive Care Units have become significantly more sophisticated. A typical ICU would have immediate access to core technologies such as respiratory ventilators, physiological and cardiac monitoring, infusion/ management systems, and blood gas analysers. Additional equipment such as non-invasive ventilators, cardiac defribrillators, imaging systems and pathology services would also be routinely used in response to individual patient requirements. Teams of highly trained professionals use technology as an integral part of their work in the ICU. These include medical intensivists, critical care nurses, clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists, dieticians, medical and surgical specialties, and personnel from a range of supporting specialties such as Laboratory, and Radiology.
In the past decade, the risk of harm caused by medical care has received increasing scrutiny (Bates et al, 2003) . Almost every major industry has used advances in information technology to increase work productivity and improve safety. Similarly, the medical literature is increasingly supporting the view that the greatest improvements in patient care and safety are through approaches that allow best use of the medical data available, to perfect existing techniques... [continues]
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