Hospital organization based on intensity of care: potential errors to avoid

  • Roberto NardI | UOC Medicina Interna C, Ospedale Maggiore, Azienda USL di Bologna, Italy.
  • Vincenzo Arienti UOC Medicina Interna A, Ospedale Maggiore, Azienda USL di Bologna, Italy.
  • Carlo Nozzoli UOC Medicina Interna, Azienda Ospedaliera Careggi, Firenze, Italy.
  • Antonino Mazzone UOC Medicina Interna, Ospedale Civile di Legnano, Milano, Italy.



The extreme variability of clinical severity in medical admitted patients is diluted in a “average” standard of care, that may be stronger than the real needs for someone, but clearly inadequate, sometimes even dangerous, for other ones, critically ill.


The model of a differentiated intensity of hospital care can be defined as the organizational model structured to areas/sectors dedicated to patients with homogeneous needs of care. The intermediate care unit (“High dependency units”, “sub-intensive care areas” – “high care units”) are particularly suitable for patients who have a lower risk compared to patients treated in intensive care, but liable to develop complications and needing a close monitoring much more than the “standard”, “routine” care. The implementation of the a new organizational model must be careful and consider the possible enlargement errors that can be made. The analysis of the context is necessary for assess prerequisites, excluding the elements opposed to the success of the proposed model (i.e.: wards congestion and overcrowding, with a consequential with increased risk of adverse events). Before implementing and admitting patients in new “models”, we have to define the epidemiological population characteristics, their level of complexity/criticality/instability and the current assessment tools.


Any new proposal of hospital management change has, as first obligation, to explicit the basic visions and primary goals for “the added value” resulting to the patient and the whole organization, with the evidence of an “health technology assessment” approach, for the professional hospital overall governance. But without the presumption, or worse, the apodictic assertion, to proclaim the implementation of structures with “differentiated intensity of hospital care” organizations that are not.


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Differentiated intensity of hospital care, Internal medicine, Hospital management
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How to Cite
NardI, R., Arienti, V., Nozzoli, C., & Mazzone, A. (2012). Hospital organization based on intensity of care: potential errors to avoid. Italian Journal of Medicine, 6(1), 1-13.