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NVHA and Inova Health System Utilize Philips VISICU eICU® Program to Increase Surge Capacity During All-Hazards Event

FAIRFAX, Va., Oct. 28, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The enVision eICU® Center at Inova Health System recently collaborated with the Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance (NVHA) Regional Hospital Coordinating Center to provide telemedicine support during an "all-hazards" event to increase surge capabilities in the region.  Inova's enVision eICU Center provides 24x7 remote patient monitoring and support using eICU Program technology from Philips VISICU.  The exercise was funded through the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) and is part of the National Capital Region (NCR) Critical Care & Trauma Surge initiative.  

On October 14th, the Northern Virginia region participated in the three-day mass casualty exercise named Capital Shield.  The exercise was led by the Department of Defense.  The scenario was a commercial airline crash-landing in the parking lot of the Pentagon with simultaneous vehicle explosions.  A total of 133 "red" tag (critical care) patients were distributed throughout the alliance members.  Nine hospitals utilized 2-way video on portable eCareMobile carts (Philips VISICU; Baltimore, MD) to seek guidance from the physician triage office at the enVision eICU Center to support the care of the adult patients.  The nine participating hospitals were Inova Loudoun (Leesburg); Inova Fair Oaks (Fairfax); Inova Mount Vernon and Inova Alexandria (Alexandria); Mary Washington (Fredericksburg); Reston (Reston); Fauquier (Warrenton); Stafford (Stafford); and Prince William (Manassas).

Many of these hospitals do not have burn and/or trauma capability.  To address the surge, in demand, an Emergency Room physician acted as a triage officer in the enVision eICU Center to prioritize and help stabilize 23 patients who were awaiting transfer to a burn or trauma center.

"This exercise was the first major test of a new program for NVHA members, leveraging telemedicine as a means of providing additional guidance and decision support to NVHA community hospitals and their clinical teams," explained Zachary Corrigan, Executive Director of NVHA. "The inclusion of the eICU eCareMobile technology in the exercise and the positive impact that resulted shows the vital role that telemedicine can play in emergency triage and disaster management within Northern Virginia."

According to Terry Davis, RN, Patient Care Director at the Inova enVision eICU Center, "Katrina and other disasters have shown that clinicians may not have all the resources that they need at the point of care.  The two-way video capability of eCareMobile enabled effective collaboration between the emergency responders and the triage officer to ensure that their most critical patients received the urgent care that was needed."

Davis will be reviewing the telemedicine component of this exercise in November at the University of Dublin's 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Research Conference. Her presentation is titled "Partnering Emergency Response and Mobile Telemedicine during a Mass Casualty Incident."

eICU® is a registered trademark of Philips VISICU. All rights reserved.

About Inova Health System

Inova Health System is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that consists of hospitals and other health services, including emergency- and urgent-care centers, home care, nursing homes, mental health and blood donor services, and wellness classes. Governed by a voluntary board of community members, Inova's mission is to improve the health of the diverse community it serves through excellence in patient care, education and research. Inova provides a healthy environment for its patients, families, visitors, staff and physicians by prohibiting tobacco use on its campuses.

About NVHA

The Northern Virginia Hospital Alliance is a 501 C (6) corporation established in 2002 to better prepare the 14 member hospitals of Northern Virginia to respond to incidents of significance in a coordinated and collective matter. The NVHA is similar to a hospital association in that its governing board is comprised the Chief Executive Officers of the member hospitals. However, the NVHA is not a traditional hospital association. Its sole function and purpose is the development and maintenance of a regional emergency response capability for the 14 member hospitals and 6 Free Standing Emergency Departments.

SOURCE Inova Health System
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