3 key factors to predict ICU telemedicine efficacy

A study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine examined the factors associated with effectiveness of telemedicine tools in the intensive care unit, which was measured by improvements in risk-adjusted mortality.

Researchers evaluated 10 ICU telemedicine programs using site visits, interviews and focus groups. They used a constant comparative approach for data collection and analysis. They identified programs with change in risk-adjusted mortality after telemedicine adoption.

The research team performed 460 hours of direct observation, 222 interviews and 18 focus groups across six telemedicine facilities and 10 target ICUs.

The study shows that there are three domains that influence ICU telemedicine effectiveness:

• Leadership, that is, the decisions related to the role of the telemedicine, conflict resolution and relationship building.
• Perceived value, for example, expectations of availability and impact, staff satisfaction and understanding of operations.
• Organizational characteristics, that is, staffing models, allowed involvement of the telemedicine unit and new hire orientation.

"In the most effective telemedicine programs these factors led to services that are viewed as appropriate, integrated, responsive and consistent," study authors wrote.

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