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Ochsner Health System will Offer First eICU Program in Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ochsner Health System has signed an agreement with Philips VISICU to implement its state-of-the-art eICU Program to enhance critical care -- a program that has been proven to reduce complications, shorten hospital length of stay and save lives. As the only healthcare provider in Louisiana with the eICU Program, Ochsner will serve as a statewide resource to community and rural hospitals which can benefit from expanded critical care staffing and technology.

Studies have shown improved outcomes and decreased lengths of stay for patients in ICUs managed by intensivists (physicians trained as specialists in critical care). However, as there is a severe shortage of these specialized doctors in the U.S., many hospitals are unable to have critical care physicians on-site 24 hours a day. The eICU Program solves this problem.

The eICU Program will connect Ochsner's bedside care teams with off-site critical care physicians and nurses using advanced software and continuous remote monitoring technology from Philips VISICU. The software detects and advises clinicians of important trends and changes in a patient's condition, enabling more proactive care with fewer complications.  Use of the 2-way audio-video capability also allows the off-site intensivist to interact and collaborate with the bedside medical team and the patient's family to make important, time-sensitive patient care decisions.  

"The eICU Program will offer increased peace of mind to Ochsner patients and families as it will provide additional oversight from trained critical care specialists looking after patients in our ICUs at all times," said Dr. David Taylor, Section Head, Critical Care Medicine, Ochsner Medical Center. "In addition, medical literature supports that the Philips eICU Program offers significant benefit in terms of quality, safety and financial performance."

The installations will begin in July at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, Ochsner Medical Center – Kenner and Ochsner Medical Center – Baton Rouge with plans to go live in the first quarter of 2012. The rollout to remaining Ochsner hospitals will continue through 2012.  

In addition to the approximately 150 beds that will be monitored across the system, capacity will exist to serve other hospitals in the region. Ochsner, which recently was recognized as being in the top 20 percent of health systems in the nation by Thomson Reuters, plans to expand its eICU Program to hospitals in surrounding communities.

"Ochsner has always had a critical mass of the most highly sophisticated and technologically complex resources," said Dr. Joseph Bisordi, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Ochsner Health System. "The eICU Program will enable greater sharing of our resources throughout the region, allowing even critically ill patients a better opportunity to stay close to home and family."  

We are proud to be partnering with a highly regarded Academic Medical Center like Ochsner to bring the eICU Program, not only to patients in New Orleans, but to patients throughout the state of Louisiana," said Frank Sample, Philips VISICU CEO.  "The same courage, vision, and passion for patient care exhibited in the aftermath of Katrina are being demonstrated, yet again, by Ochsner as they look to extend their critical care expertise across the region."   

Ochsner Health System is southeast Louisiana's largest non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system with eight hospitals and over 38 health centers in Louisiana. Ochsner has been named the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 15 consecutive years and is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a "Best Hospital" across seven specialty categories. Ochsner employs more than 12,500 employees, over 850 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 300 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

SOURCE Ochsner
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