3 Hospitals That Have Seen Positive Results From Tele-ICU Programs

Currently, about 10 percent of intensive care unit patients nationwide are able to be monitored remotely with a tele-ICU system, according to an article in The New York Times.

The following hospitals have implemented a tele-ICU system and have seen improved patient outcomes and increased hospital efficiency.

Ministry Saint Clare's Hospital (Weston, Wisc.).
Five years after Ministry Saint Clare implemented its collaborative tele-ICU program, the hospital reported results below Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation Scores in the following areas: ICU mortality (33 percent better than predictions), hospital mortality (26 percent better than predictions) and ventilator days (40 percent better than predictions).

Hospital officials also found the presence of the tele-ICU system made it easier to recruit physicians, as the program helped reduce night and weekend calls while maintaining high quality of care for patients.

University of Minnesota Medical Center (Minneapolis)
A "hub and spoke" tele-ICU program run by the University of Minnesota Medical Center has allowed patients to remain in hospitals close to home while being monitored remotely by specialists from UMPhysicians.

"The most interesting thing we've learned in our first year is how varied the needs of the Fairview ICUs are and how quickly the tele-ICU program has responded to those differences," said Craig Weinert, MD, tele-ICU medical director, in a news release. "Some ICUs need more assistance during the day, others mostly at night. Some nursing issues are primary; other times it's physician or respiratory therapists' concerns. Sometimes all the tele-ICU needs to do is send in a critical care specialist to the bedside at Ridges or Southdale, whereas for Lakes and Northland we've learned how to cooperatively care for patients on life support with the on-site physician and nurses 40 miles away."

UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worchester, Mass.)
A tele-ICU program at UMass Memorial Medical Center was able to reduce ICU mortality by 19.6 percent, hospital mortality by 13.2 percent, average ICU length of stay by 29.7 percent and average hospital length of stay by 26.3 percent.

Additionally, the program increased ICU efficiency to the point the hospital was able to care for 11 percent more patients annually while reducing the average cost per case by more than $5,000. The capital cost of the tele-ICU system, $7.1 million, was recovered in less than one year.

More Articles on Telemedicine:

The Evolution of Telehealth: Predictions for 2014 and Beyond
Health IT Legislation to Watch in 2014
Bipartisan Legislation Would Create Federal Definition of Telehealth

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