Emory University leverages electronic ICU abroad to reduce night shifts in US

Emory University has launched a pilot program that allows providers at Sydney, Australia-based Macquarie University to remotely staff night shifts at Emory University's campus in Atlanta.

Since Sydney is 15 hours ahead of Atlanta, team members experiencing daylight in Sydney can cover night shifts in Atlanta through the Emory Electronic ICU Center — an initiative that allows ICU providers to electronically monitor patients from remote locations. Emory University says the goal is to overcome the drawbacks of critical care night staffing, such as the shortage of clinicians willing to cover night shifts and the negative health impact associated with working night shifts.

The program, which took 18 months to get in place, is led by Emory Critical Care Center Founding Director Timothy Buchman and Emory eICU Center Director Cheryl Hiddleson. Although Ms. Hiddleson says remote monitoring and consulting has proven secure and effective thus far, the pilot program's next steps include observing the impact of remote monitoring from abroad on patient outcomes and clinician stress.

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