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Remote Technologies Improve Patient Care, Viable Alternative to Intensivist Shortage
Date:12/8/2009

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- During the Institute for Healthcare Improvement National Forum, Advanced ICU Care showcased the improved outcomes of implementing virtual ICU technology. Five million patients are admitted to ICUs each year and an estimated 10 percent die while they are there. While full intensivist staffing would save 162,000 lives annually, only one in five ICUs has intensivists on staff. Remote monitoring programs for ICUs are a viable alternative to the intensivist shortage and improve patient care and safety.

"With all that is at stake, we need to get it right in the ICU," said Mary Jo Gorman, MD, MBA, chief executive officer of Advanced ICU Care. "The improvements made possible by virtual ICU technology bring a life-saving level of care. It really is becoming the new standard of care for community hospitals striving to provide the best possible quality care to ICU patients."

St. Mary's Health Center, an SSM Health Care facility in Jefferson City, Mo., implemented a virtual ICU program, along with its in-house program, in January 2006. The results show significant improvements in ICU mortality, length of stay and quality measures:

  • ICU mortality dropped by 24 percent after one year
  • Cardiac arrests plunged by 69 percent
  • ICU patient total length of stay fell by 14 percent
  • Zero cases of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) since program inception
  • Drop in central line infections (just two in three years since program implementation)
  • Median days on ventilator fell by a full day
  • Standardization of glucose management

"We recognized the need for around-the-clock intensivist care in the ICU, but had difficulty recruiting and securing fulltime physicians. We were concerned, as were many hospitals, about the lack of coverage during office hours; competing priorities for consulting physicians, especially at night and on weekends; phys
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SOURCE Advanced ICU Care
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