Key messages

• TISS is a useful tool for obtaining severity of illness data on intensive care unit (ICU) patients quickly and easily.

• TISS lends itself well to studies of ICU function, personnel and resource utilization, and assessment of the need for ICU beds.

• Small differences in TISS scores are not discriminating and the TISS data should not be overinterpreted.

• The ability to categorize patients makes TISS a very useful tool for ICU administrative and management research.

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