Coordinated Care Management

July 16, 2012

Tele-ICU Solutions Keeping Critically Ill Patients Monitored 24/7

It’s always upsetting when a loved one is in intensive care, especially when there are lots of patients, harried nurses and doctors, and you suspect your beloved is not getting the attention he or she needs.

But now critically ill patients in the ICU at Mercy Medical Center Merced, through the hospital’s partnership with Advanced ICU Care, a provider of tele-ICU will be monitored by highly trained physicians who specialize in critical care and specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing an extra layer of care that enhances patient safety.

With tele-ICU services, they are staying on top of a patient’s condition at all times. The Mercy program continuously monitors patient vital signs, medications, labs and the patient’s clinical status, alerting healthcare professionals when a problem is detected, resulting in fast intervention. With Advanced ICU Care, in-room two-way video is used during periods of evaluation or when called on by the nurse, enabling face-to face consultations between the bedside staff and the Advanced ICU Care team, ensuring that help is available when needed.

Mercy Merced, a member of Dignity Health System, a network of more than 40 hospitals and care centers in Arizona, California and Nevada, is the first hospital in California to use Advanced ICU Care’s telemedicine program, the press release states.

“Our partnership with Advanced ICU Care demonstrates a commitment to offering our ICU patients the best and most comprehensive care available today,” said Dr. Robert Streeter, vice president of medical affairs for Mercy Merced. “With around-the-clock telemonitoring by intensivist physicians, Advanced ICU Care brings a rigorous focus on evidence-based best practices to improve patient care and safety in the ICU.”

Independent studies have shown that this 24/7 patients monitored by intensivists (physicians who specialize in critical care) significantly improved patient outcomes and patient safety in the intensive care unit, according to the press release, adding that a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that  use of a tele-ICU program was associated with “reduced adjusted odds of mortality and reduced hospital length of stay, as well as with improvements in best practice adherence and lower rates of preventable complications.”

A hospital in North Carolina has obtained the same results with its tele-ICU solution. High Point Regional Health System found that this constant surveillance “improves patient safety and health outcomes by avoiding complications and adverse situations with prompt, proactive interventions.”

But the current serious shortage of intensivist physicians means that many hospitals cannot provide this extensive coverage within their facilities. Advanced ICU Care makes it possible for hospitals to provide a solution combining “24/7 intensivist-led care, best-of-breed technology and a rigorous focus on best practices compliance,” the press release stated.

Edited by Braden Becker
Get stories like this delivered straight to your inbox. [Free eNews Subscription]