1000minds helps doctors prioritize COVID-19 patients for intensive care and hospitalization
Working with clinicians and nurses, and overseen by ethicists and Māori health leaders, 1000minds was used in New Zealand to create a tool to help clinicians prioritize COVID-19 patients for admission to intensive care units (ICUs).
During the COVID-19 crisis, many patients were expected to suffer from severe illness, with some likely to need intensive care with ventilatory support. Anticipating demand would greatly exceed supply, health experts came together using 1000minds to create a decision-support tool to prioritize patients for ICUs.
The tool aims to maximize the number of lives saved by prioritizing those who are most in need and most likely to benefit. Intensive care experts determined the criteria and appropriate weights, and social equity considerations were taken into account with the help of Māori health leaders and ethicists.
The tool will only be used if ICUs become overwhelmed. Fortunately for NZ, this has not happened, whereas it has happened in many other countries.
In response to the crisis, 1000minds published an outline of a general process for creating patient prioritization tools online and supplied examples of COVID-19 prioritization and decision-making tools in 1000minds software. You can modify these tools as needed to suit your requirements in particular settings.
In Italy, researchers implemented 1000minds in an application of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) for prioritizing non-critical COVID-19 patients for hospitalization, with a focus on low- to middle-income countries (LMIC).
LMICs often struggle with overcrowding and lack of resources, which would further exacerbate a pandemic. Such countries would therefore benefit the most from a patient prioritization tool.
The study concluded that at the start of a pandemic, when only limited information is available about a disease and national response plans have yet to be established, MCDA could be crucial in helping health systems tackle the crisis.
- I Dougherty, “Critical decisions”, He Kitenga 2020 – University of Otago Research Highlights
- N Jones, “Covid-19 coronavirus: Software to help doctors decide who gets an ICU bed”, New Zealand Herald, 25 March 2020
- (Paywall) N Jones, “Covid 19 coronavirus: NZ software to help decide who gets intensive care beds”, New Zealand Herald, 31 March 2020
About the use of 1000minds for prioritizing patients for ICU and hospital admissions respectively.
- M Roy, P Hansen, T Sullivan, F Ombler, M Kiore & A Stapleton (2021), “Rapid development of a tool for prioritizing Covid-19 patients for intensive care”, Critical Care Explorations 3, e0368
- P De Nardo, E Gentilotti, F Mazzaferri et al and COVID-19 MCDA Group (2020), “Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to prioritize hospital admission of patients affected by COVID-19 in low-resource settings with hospital-bed shortage”, International Journal of Infectious Diseases 98, 494-500