It all started when a group of senior clinicians from The Prince Charles Hospital Critical Care Research Group gathered and started discussing how they could improve the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) environment. While we acknowledged the quality of care provided and that the survival rates in Australian lCUs were exceptional, we had started realising the quality of life after survival could be better for a large percentage of patients.
After an ICU admission, up to...
of ICU patients will experience cognitive problems (including delirium) or mental trauma during or after their admission.
of families make major life adjustments to support a patient, including moving home or depleting their savings.
of family members can have symptoms of anxiety, and up to 50% have PTSD symptoms.
Source: ICU of the Future Prototype, Critical Care Research Group
Through patient, family and staff consultation and feedback, we were able to identify the key drivers for distress.
Following this, we addressed these drivers through technology, international innovation, and thinking outside of the traditional critical care landscape.
To deliver a new ICU environment that puts patients at the core, it was critical that we engage past patients and their families.
Our goal was to deeply understand their experiences, their challenges, and the physical and sensory factors that were linked to long-term patient problems such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other psychological complications commonly seen after an ICU admission.
This revolution in ICU design will allow patients to rest and recover in a quiet, peaceful environment, whilst remaining connected to friends and family through innovative technology.
The lighting incorporated into the design mimics natural light and informs the body’s natural circadian rhythm to help patients sleep.
The area is designed to maximise patient privacy
Anti-infection acoustic panels to help reduce the amount of noise experienced by the patient.
Inclusion of technology to improve how the patient connects to their family and friends, and the outside world.
Silent alarms, plus the space is designed to feel more like a hotel room and equipment is positioned behind a patient’s head to offer them a better outlook.
We want patients to thrive, not just survive.
Intensive Care Units have changed little over the past 50 years.
Designed around the need for close observation and focussing on optimising survival led to an ICU designed around the needs of the clinicians rather than the patients.
This design however came at a cost. Lack of sleep, lack of privacy, high levels of anxiety, and in many cases, the patient experiencing delirium.
The ICU of the Future is designed around the needs of the patient – to rest, relax, be comfortable and recover, all while staying connected with their families.
Former State of Origin and Brisbane Broncos rugby league player, Gavin Allen, spent three weeks in the ICU following a life-saving heart transplant.
While he is incredibly grateful for the care he received, he said he was as “terrified at times” during his stay in the ICU.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we have received to make this project a reality.
This project would not have been possible without the support of over 900 donors, as well as contributions from Metro North Health, Queensland Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Commission, Queensland Health, and the Queensland Technology Future Fund.
Mr & Mrs Fischer
Mr & Mrs Gordon
Mr & Mrs Wilkie
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