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Critical-Care Group Updates TeleICU Standards

News  |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   May 18, 2018

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses' consensus statement reflects current evidence and best practices in TeleICU nursing.

Telehealth is a growing segment in the healthcare industry, thus providing nurses with new settings and opportunities in which to practice. The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses recognized the need for guidance in this area and issued the first authoritative document to define practice guidelines specifically for the emerging telenursing practice in critical care in 2013

Telehealth continues to evolve and so must nursing practice standards.

The AACN recognizes the fluidity of telehealth practices and, this month, issued an update to its teleICU nursing standards.

The newly released document, “AACN TeleICU Nursing Practice: An Expert Consensus Statement Supporting High Acuity, Progressive and Critical Care,” addresses the changes and provides up-to-date findings in this fast-growing area of healthcare.

The statement:

  • Offers specific recommendations for the development, growth, and enhancement of teleICU programs.


  • Defines and identifies the essential elements of teleICU nursing practice for organizations, leaders, and nurses

  • Delineates the essential collaboration and partnerships necessary to successfully integrate teleICU nurses as valued members of the healthcare team

  • Updates a framework for implementing, evaluating, and improving teleICU nursing practice

  • Reestablishes a model of success for realizing optimal patient care and outcomes

  • Provides real-life scenarios for providing a continuity of care, identifying high risk patients, and decreasing mortality rates


Telehealth Model for Excellence

The consensus statement reflects current evidence, best practice, and the expert opinions of AACN’s 13-person TeleICU Task Force. The document also includes clinical scenarios with examples of how clinicians implemented each key recommendation in various environments.

“The level of technology acceptance has created opportunities to apply the teleICU model from rural to urban areas and from land to sea,” says task force co-chair Theresa Davis, PhD, RN, NE-BC, CHTP, clinical operations director for Inova Telemedicine enVision eICU in a news release. “The ability to leverage clinical expertise across miles in an efficient way is valuable in both critical situations and routine care delivery.”

In addition to creating a framework for implementing and evaluating teleICU nursing practice, the statement introduces a model for achieving excellence and optimal patient care and outcomes through:

  • Shared knowledge and goals

  • Mutual respect

  • Skilled communication

  • True collaboration

  • Practice excellence

  • Authentic leadership

  • Optimized technology

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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