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Largest Study Of Critical Care Telehealth Reveals Improvements In Patient Outcomes And Reductions In Health Care Costs

ANDOVER, Mass., Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- With critical care costs in the U.S. totaling roughly $80-100 billion per year, new research published today in CHEST Journal's Online First highlights ICU telehealth as key to enabling hospitals and health systems to improve patient care at lower cost. The study, which examined the impact of Philips' remote Intensive Care Unit (eICU) Program on nearly 120,000 critical care patients, across 56 intensive care units (ICUs), 32 hospitals and 19 health systems over a five-year period, demonstrated reductions in both mortality and length of stay. The results were statistically significant on both an unadjusted and severity-adjusted basis.  

The study, entitled "A Multi-center Study of ICU Telemedicine Reengineering of Adult Critical Care," was authored by Craig M. Lilly, MD, Professor of Medicine, Anesthesiology and Surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Director of the eICU Program at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Participants were comprised of 19 healthcare systems using Philips' eICU program. The eICU program is a comprehensive technology and clinical reengineering program that enables health care professionals from a centralized eICU center to provide around-the-clock care for critically ill patients. The eICU program utilizes bi-directional audio/video technology, population management tools, proprietary clinical decision support, real-time and retrospective reporting tools and targeted process redesign.

The key findings of the study were that, compared to patients receiving usual ICU care, patients who received their ICU care from a hospital that utilized the eICU program were:
  • 26% more likely to survive the ICU;
  • Discharged from the ICU 20% faster;
  • 16% more likely to survive hospitalization and be discharged;
  • Discharged from the hospital 15% faster.

"This is the first large-scale study that ties ICU telehealth to both the improvement of patient outcomes and cost reduction through shorter length of stays in the ICU and hospital and identifies the processes that achieved greater efficiency," said Dr. Lilly. "These results point to a significant opportunity to better manage and treat our critical patients in this time of increasing pressure from healthcare reform to deliver high quality and cost-effective care." 

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