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Telehealth Improves Patient Care in ICUs

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, December 6, 2013

Participants were drawn from 19 healthcare systems participating in Philips Healthcare's eICU program. The eICU program is a technology and clinical reengineering program that enables physicians and other healthcare workers at a centralized eICU center to provide around-the-clock care for critically ill patients. The eICU program utilizes bidirectional audio/video technology, population management tools, clinical decision support, real-time and retrospective reporting tools, and targeted process redesign.

The key findings of the study were that, compared to patients receiving standard ICU care, patients who received their ICU care from a hospital that utilized the eICU program were:

  • 26% more likely to survive the ICU
  • Discharged from the ICU 20% faster
  • 16% more likely to survive hospitalization and be discharged
  • Discharged from the hospital 15% faster

Also important was whether clinicians responded to alerts and alarms within three minutes, Lilly says. "The bedside people do it just fine most of the time," Lilly says. "But occasionally they're busy and diverted and they're not paying attention as they need to. The offsite team can help to make that happen, and that decision support piece was important."

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