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Maryland ICU Patients Connected to Remote Critical Care Staff, Improving Quality and Safety
Date:5/14/2009

The First Maryland eCare Hospital goes 'live'

WASHINGTON, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Starting Monday, May 18, Maryland intensive care patients will be connected by voice, video and data lines to specialized physicians and nurses at a tertiary care referral center 130 miles away. A year after announcing six, independent Maryland hospitals, with a $3 million grant from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, were joining together to provide state-of-the-art critical care to their patients, the first hospital, Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick, Md., is fully online with the sophisticated care system.

"We are thrilled to bring rural Maryland patients this enhanced level of care," said Dr. Thomas Lawrence, Board Chair of Maryland eCare and Chief Medical Officer for Peninsula Regional Medical Center, an eCare member. "This is an exciting step towards improving the already high quality of care for all Marylanders."

Studies have shown improved patient outcomes and decreased lengths of stay for patients in intensive care units (ICU) managed by physicians who specialize in critical care. Yet, due to a current shortage in the specialty, it's difficult for many hospitals to keep these physicians on-site 24 hours a day. eCare virtually connects physicians, nurses and patients via voice, camera and data, enabling hospitals to provide the highest level of specialized care around the clock. Calvert Memorial will work most closely with eCare on nights, weekends and holidays, times typically difficult for local specialists to remain on-site.

Working with a remote monitoring center at Christiana Care in Wilmington, Del., eCare supplements local ICU staff with experienced critical care physicians and nurses. Christiana Care was the first health system in the country to adopt the eICU(R) Program to monitor critically ill patients in its emergency departments and post-anesthesia care units and curr
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SOURCE Maryland eCare
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