Epic, VUMC team up to prevent ICU delirium

Epic will release new software in February that aims to advance prevention efforts of intensive care unit delirium, according to a Dec. 20 news release.

Epic tapped Nashville, Tenn.-based Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help develop the software, which the EHR giant has now made available to Epic clients as an add-on system update ahead of the software launch in February.

Epic chose E. Wesley Ely, MD, a pulmonary and critical care specialist at VUMC, and his team to help design the software. Over the past two decades, Dr. Ely and his research team have published numerous studies on ICU delirium research. His studies have informed critical care guidelines endorsed by medical societies in several countries, according to the news release emailed to Becker's Hospital Review.

The Epic software is based on a clinical protocol called the ICU Liberation Bundle, which Dr. Ely previously used for a Society of Critical Care Medicine project to improve patient outcomes in U.S. hospitals.

"What this bundle does is stop people from just looking at one organ at a time," Dr. Ely said. "It takes the overall person and says, 'This is a whole human being and we're going to pay attention to how their brain is working, and their liver and lung and kidney, all at once. And we're going to wake them up, we're going to get them out of the bed, we're going to walk them.' It makes us take a step back and help people avoid injury that might otherwise occur in intensive care." 

Researchers from Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health, University of Colorado and University of California San Francisco have assisted Epic and VUMC on the project.

Dr. Ely's team and Epic are now collaborating on information systems support for ICU patient outcomes monitoring.

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