Study: Tele-ICU program improves patient flow

A study in Chest investigated how patient flow changes following the implementation of a telemedicine intensive care unit, or tele-ICU.

The researchers, led by Craig M. Lilly, MD, of Worcester-based University of Massachusetts Medical School, collected data from adult patients at a single academic medical center. All patients fell into one of three groups: a group that received care prior to tele-ICU implementation, a group that received care after tele-ICU implementation and a group that received care after the implementation of both a tele-ICU and a logistical support center.

Annual case volume increased over time, from 4,752 patients prior to tele-ICU implementation to 5,735 patients after tele-ICU implementation. After implementation the logistic center for quality care standardization, the annual case volume increased to 6,581 patients. This increased case volume and shorter length of stay resulted in improved financial outcomes, increasing from $7,921,584 to $60,586,397.

The researchers concluded, "The ability of properly modified ICU telemedicine programs to increase case volume and access to high quality critical care with improved annual direct contribution margin suggests that there is a financial argument to encourage the wider adoption of ICU telemedicine."

More articles on patient flow:
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How data analytics improved job satisfaction, reduced burnout at this South Carolina hospital
Electrical issues force Calif. hospital to divert maternity deliveries

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