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.

Global applicability

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.

Media coverage

Peer-reviewed publications

About the use of 1000minds for prioritizing patients for ICU and hospital admissions respectively.

See also

Covid-19 patient prioritization