President's Message - Survive and Thrive

2016 - 2 April - SCCM’s Quality Improvement Initiatives
Todd Dorman, MD, FCCM
Society President Todd Dorman, MD, FCCM, outlines the Society’s commitment to aggressively addressing post-intensive care syndrome.

Thrive. Such a powerful word. It truly captures what we all want for our surviving patients. We are simply not willing to settle for survival. We want the best quality of existence possible; we want outcomes that are so good they may seem impossible today. We want our patients and their families to thrive!

In order to help achieve this goal, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) created the THRIVE initiative. This four-part initiative is designed to advance the field using a multimodal approach. The first modality is grant funding for research that SCCM has available. If submission volume is an appropriate gauge of the interest in the community, then we can safely say that the intensive care unit (ICU) community agrees with our perspective as to the critical need for work in this domain. In the first year of this new grant, 25 submission were received, more than double what was expected. The THRIVE Research Grant to Accelerate Recovery is similar to the SCCM-Weil Research Grants (formerly known as the Vision Grants) in that it is for $50,000 USD. The inaugural recipient was Bradford Winters, MD, PhD, FCCM, for, Patient/Family Engagement in the Transitions of Post-ICU Care for Mechanically Ventilated Patients. This project will generate new knowledge and use it to build toolkits and strategies to improve care transitions to the post-ICU environment. There were many very good grant submissions that we simply could not fund. We encourage you to continue to fine-tune your ideas and prepare to apply for a grant during the next cycle. More information about the THRIVE grant as well as the SCCM-Weil Research Grant can be found on the SCCM website under the Research/Quality link on the banner near the top.

The second initiative uses a different approach. In this component of THRIVE, we hope to provide seed funding for local initiatives that can ultimately be joined together as a community dedicated to supporting patients and families after discharge from the ICU. This local solution approach allows for maximum innovation because each center or region can decide what the best way is for them to launch a support structure for patients and families. We would not be surprised to see a mix of post-discharge clinics with social support groups. We believe that this approach will also tie in well to the concepts of longitudinal care that are built into the future of healthcare. We would like to thank the folks at Vanderbilt who were instrumental in helping us get this started. Award winners during the first year were Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas in Austin, Texas, USA; NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Illinois, USA; UC San Diego Medical Center in La Jolla, California, USA; the University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, USA; and Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.

As with the grants, clarify your ideas and get ready to apply for seed funding. Surviving patients and families have so much to teach us, and a locally resourced network is sorely needed. Such work could lead to investigators applying for federal Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funding. Additional information is available on the SCCM website under the Member Center link on the banner near the top.

The final two approaches are designed to recognize two critical components of survivorship. The THRIVE Innovation Award recognizes an individual, team or center for innovation in survivor partnership that addresses the needs of survivors of critical illness, including the family, to optimize recovery through novel paradigms of care delivery, improved coordination of care and/or the design and implementation of virtual or in-person support groups. This year’s winner of the THRIVE Innovation Award was the ICU Recovery Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. An honorable mention was awarded to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ICU in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The ICU Heroes Award is offered to an ICU patient and family, in addition to the multiprofessional team who delivered the care. This award recognizes that patients and families are an integral part of ICU care. This year’s ICU Heroes Award winner was the University of Missouri Women’s and Children’s Hospital ICU in Columbia, Missouri, USA. The team leader was Venkataraman Ramachandran, MD.

Together, these two awards recognize the power of stories of survivorship for all team members. Information about these awards and the submission process can be found on the SCCM website under Awards, which is nested under the Member Center link on the banner near the top. (Please note that the ICU Heroes Award will not be awarded in 2017 but will be awarded in 2018.)

Taken together, these approaches should enable the critical care community to learn so much more about this critical aspect of critical illness. It should set the stage to help advance the field. Research in this post-ICU phase of critical illness should help us better understand how to mitigate some of the impact of critical illness and help us shape better outcomes for the future.

We truly hope that this multimodal approach will allow our survivors to THRIVE!