The Role of eICU Telehealth Health systems participating in the study each relied on eICU technology and program services from the Philips hospital to home portfolio, which include telehealth programs for the inpatient and ambulatory settings. The Philips eICU program allows critical care teams of nurses and intensivist physicians – who may be hundreds of miles away – to gain instant and real-time access to information required to intervene proactively before complications develop. These timely interventions lead to reduced mortality and length of stay.
Hospitals and health systems that saw the largest reduction in length of stay and mortality rates were those that excelled in certain components of the program – involving people, technology and processes. As a result, the study revealed the following program design elements common to the most successful ICU telehealth programs, including:
- Having an intensivist physician perform a remote review of the patient and care plan within one hour of ICU admission;
- Frequent collaborative review and use of performance data provided by the ICU telemedicine program;
- Faster response times to technology-based alerts and alarms for physiological and laboratory value instability;
- Increased rates of adherence to ICU best practices for those that are supported by the ICU telemedicine team;
- Interdisciplinary rounds;
- Institutional ICU committee effectiveness.
"Today, personnel accounts for 56 percent of the $2.8 trillion healthcare spend in the U.S., and coupled with the current shortage of clinicians, many hospitals are unable to offer on-site intensivist physicians, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," said Brian Rosenfeld, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Philips HealthcareTelehealth. "This study provides further evidence that health systems employing coordinated telehealth in their care models will increase provider productivity, while improving outcomes and reducing costs."
In addition to publication in CHEST Journal Online First, the study will also appear in an early 2014 issue of CHEST, the official publication of the American College of Chest Physicians.