Penn State Health expands virtual intensive care unit services

Hershey, Pa.-based Penn State Health consolidated all virtual intensive care unit operations internally.

The service incorporates 186 beds at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Burkes County-based Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center, where the services were previously monitored. The virtual service is also connected to Penn State Health Lancaster (Pa.) Medical Center. Other connected facilities will be announced in the coming months, according to an Oct. 5 news release. 

In a virtual intensive care unit, physicians, specially trained critical care nurses, and other clinicians monitor each intensive care patient around the clock using high-resolution cameras, microphones, and electronic medical devices.

Penn State Health Vice President of Virtual Care Chris LaCoe, RN, said around-the-clock monitoring can be comforting to patients and their families. 

"The vICU team members will work as partners with our bedside staff to provide an extra layer of care for critically ill patients," Mr. LaCoe said. 

Penn State Health's virtual intensive care unit center is an expansion of Penn State Health's existing critical care services. It is designed to support the bedside clinical team, improve patient outcomes and enhance the overall quality of care.

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