New Program Adds Round-the-Clock Care to Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s Most Critical Patients

Bhadresh Shah, MD.

Bhadresh Shah, MD.

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is the one and only hospital in Fort Bend County to implement an innovative program that places critical care physicians, also known as intensivists, in the intensive care unit (ICU) 24/7.

“As our hospital has grown to the largest in Fort Bend County with 347 beds, the number of critical care patients we see has increased as well. This program strengthens our ability to provide critically-ill patients with the best possible care available in Fort Bend,” said Bhadresh Shah, MD, medical director of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s ICUs. “Our intensivists were chosen from leading institutions around the country for their commitment to specialized patient care and their alignment with the mission and values of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.”

Houston Methodist Sugar Land has eight critical care physicians in place to staff its 40 bed ICU, which includes 20 medical and 20 surgical beds. These physicians are uniquely trained to identify and respond immediately to changes in an ICU patient’s condition.

Studies show that intensivist-directed care leads to better outcomes for patients, including reduced numbers of complications and shorter stays in the ICU. Having intensivists on-site also allows patients to be evaluated by a physician within one hour after their admittance to the ICU and makes round-the-clock care and observation the standard.

At Houston Methodist Sugar Land, intensivists work closely with other
physician specialists, acute care nurse practitioners and ancillary care providers to ensure that ICU patients receive timely, responsive care throughout their stay. As a team, they provide improved continuity of care, as well as ensure regular communication with patients, family members, primary care physicians and other specialists.

“Full-time intensivists are typically found only in large teaching hospitals around the country, but we recognize that having an enhanced level of care can make a significant difference for patients who are either seriously ill or recovering from surgery, as their conditions can change rapidly,” said Shah. “The intensivist program is an investment by the hospital to ensure that our most at-risk patients are receiving hands-on care from both physicians and nurses 24 hours a day.”

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