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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2014, Article ID 134198, 6 pages
Review Article

Potentially Ineffective Care: Time for Earnest Reexamination

1Inova Health System, 8110 Gatehouse Road, Suite 600, West Tower, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA
2Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Medical Campus, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church, VA 22042, USA

Received 2 October 2013; Revised 8 November 2013; Accepted 9 November 2013; Published 6 April 2014

Academic Editor: Djillali Annane

Copyright © 2014 William L. Jackson Jr. and Joseph F. Sales. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The rising costs and suboptimal quality throughout the American health care system continue to invite critical inquiry, and practice in the intensive care unit setting is no exception. Due to their relatively large impact, outcomes and costs in critical care are of significant interest to policymakers and health care administrators. Measurement of potentially ineffective care has been proposed as an outcome measure to evaluate critical care delivery, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affords the opportunity to reshape the care of the critically ill. Given the impetus of the PPACA, systematic formal measurement of potentially ineffective care and its clinical, economic, and societal impact merits timely reconsideration.