Island Hospital Kicks Off the Tele-ICU Program
This week Island Hospital is launching a new tele-ICU program that provides around-the-clock support for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). In addition to receiving exceptional bedside care, the tele-ICU program adds an extra layer of expert care for the most vulnerable patients. The program enables highly-skilled intensive care physicians (intensivists) and critical care nurses to help provide the highest possible care through remote monitoring using sophisticated software and computer systems. This new technology improves local access to critical care services at no additional charge to patients and reduces the transfer rate out of community hospitals so patients may receive care closer to home.
When complications occur in the ICU, a patient’s condition can rapidly deteriorate. Through innovative collaboration, the specially trained intensivists assist the ICU bedside team with proactively monitoring physiological data (vital signs, lab results, blood tests, etc.) to detect early warning signs and make timely changes to keep the patient out of danger. While nothing can replace the comfort and reassurance of a physician’s presence, the remote intensivists will work directly with Island Hospital’s Physicians, Physician Assistance, Nurse Practitioners and nurses to provide extra monitoring and address concerns immediately.
“We are excited to launch this cutting-edge technology to assist our clinically-complex patients here at Island Hospital,” said Island Hospital CEO Charles Hall, MSN, MBA, RN. “Critically ill patients require early intervention and proactive monitoring, which is why the tele-ICU program that operates on a 24-hour continual basis offers the best possible care. Board-certified intensivists will coordinate remotely with our bedside ICU providers and nurses to add security and comfort for patients to dramatically improve critical care outcomes.”
Patient privacy is protected by the same confidentiality laws that govern all medical staff providing care at Island Hospital. The tele-ICU critical care team will have access to patient data and can only be viewed by those with hospital authorization. The intensive care team will use a camera to look into a patient’s room only when necessary, to check on a patient and ‘make rounds’ similar to the bedside team. When the camera is turned off, it will face away from the patient toward the wall. Patients and Island Hospital bedside teams will be able to communicate with the tele-ICU critical care team through a two-way sound system, keeping everyone apprised of changes in status or the best course of treatment. No recording will ever be made from the camera or microphone.
Studies show that the tele-ICU program is expected to reduce mortality and improve quality outcomes. For example, patients who receive their care at hospitals with tele-ICU increase ICU survival rates by 26 percent and discharge 20 percent faster. Phase one of this state-of-the-art monitoring technology kicks off at Island Hospital on August 24 for night coverage from 7 pm – 7 am. Following the initial month of coverage, Island Hospital will have 24/7 access to critical care specialist expertise.
“Intercept Telehealth is privileged to provide our critical care expertise and support to Island Hospital and their existing world-class critical care team, the hospital system and the Island Hospital community-at-large,” said Dr. Diego C. Reino, CEO and Founder of Intercept Telehealth. “Our clinical support team has been built over several years through a painstaking focus on providing the highest standard of remote critical care and the provision of critical care personnel. Our ability to mix seamlessly with the Island Hospital on-site providers is truly a testament to Island Hospital’s care team.”