Possibilities and Benefits of Intermediate Care Units in Healthcare Systems from a Logistics Perspective
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Intermediate care units have been established as a response to the emerging challenges of healthcare systems to maintain high quality and continuous care. While the term is well known in both literature and practice, it lacks a unified definition. There is no common consensus of how intermediate care units can be successfully implemented and properly utilized in healthcare systems. Large variations of services in intermediate care units can be found. This literature review has structured the existing research on intermediate care units, identifying the possibilities and benefits of intermediate care units in healthcare systems from a logistics perspective. The main findings discussed in this study concern the following topics: the effect of intermediate care units on healthcare system performance and patient outcomes, and potential users of and services provided by intermediate care units. This study presents the state-of-the-art research on intermediate care units and suggests topics for further research.