In recent years, there has been a steady increase in both the workload in the Departments of Internal Medicine and the number of critically ill patients in need of higher levels of care.
An examination of work processes in the Division of Internal Medicine at Rambam Health Care Campus uncovered the need to improve services provided to patients with respiratory issues and other complex medical conditions – patients who require increased medical and nursing care. To make things easier for the medical teams and assist the Division, comprised of six departments, Dr. Ronen Zalts, Deputy Director of the Department of Internal Medicine C, was appointed to a new role: Director of Increased Care Service in the Division of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Zalts explains, “In the internal medicine departments, there is a space dedicated to providing care for complex patients who require more extensive treatment. This area is regularly staffed by at least one nurse. Management of these patients is performed by the division’s physicians who have various specializations in internal medicine, though not necessarily in intensive care.”
The very existence of this space was initially intended to address the permanent shortage of general intensive care and medical intensive care beds. However, to ensure that patients with complex conditions receive optimal patient care, it became apparent that an intensive care physician was needed to provide additional support and backing.
The significance of this move is groundbreaking, in the sense that patients being treated in the Departments of Internal Medicine can now benefit from the additional expertise and treatment theory of an intensive care physician – without a special referral or having to be moved to a different department. This change will expand the department’s knowledge base, improve therapeutic availability, and increase the quality of care within the department, thereby improving the overall internal medicine provided to patients.
In his new role, Dr. Zalts will serve as the liaison between the Departments of Internal Medicine and Rambam’s Medical Intensive Care Unit Established by a Donation from the Edmond De Rothschild Foundation (Israel). A graduate of Sackler School of Medicine at Tel-Aviv University, Dr. Zalts completed his residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Intensive Care Medicine at Rambam.
Dr. Zalts is also responsible for the education of medical students in the Departments of Internal Medicine, and received an award from The Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine at the Technion–Israel Institute of Technology for his work in this capacity. His main interests relate to infection control in critically ill patients and quality care in medicine.