(Centralia, Illinois) St. Mary’s Hospital today announced the successful implementation of the most advanced critical care telemedicine program available in hospital intensive care units.
On January 23, St. Mary’s partnered with Advanced ICU Care, the nation’s largest independent provider of tele-ICU services, to deliver monitoring by highly trained intensivist physicians and critical care specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing an extra layer of care that enhances patient safety. St. Mary’s is now able to meet the latest recommendation to have intensivist physicians monitoring intensive care patients around-the-clock.
“We are pleased to partner with physicians and clinicians at St. Mary’s Hospital to provide additional clinical surveillance and support of their critically ill patients,” said Mary Jo Gorman, M.D., M.B.A., chief executive officer of Advanced ICU Care. “This strong alliance of critical care expertise combined with the most advanced telemedicine technology is working together to benefit and improve the health and safety of these patients.”
Added Bruce Merrell, president of St. Mary’s Hospital: “Our patients are receiving the best recommended standard of medical care available with the collaboration between their doctor, the hospital critical care team and the remote telemonitoring oversight of Advanced ICU Care.”
Advanced ICU Care’s team of intensivists and critical care nurses work remotely around-the-clock complementing the care provided by the St. Mary’s Hospital physicians. The program will continuously monitor real-time patient vital signs, medications, labs and the patient’s medical history. Proactive data management tools identify problems before they become urgent, prompting immediate intervention when necessary. Two-way video access in each patient’s room enables face-to-face consultations between the bedside and Advanced ICU Care team.
“The Advanced ICU Care team serves as an on-call partner providing a second set of eyes on our ICU patients,” said Dr. Rajendra Shroff, internal medicine specialist at St. Mary’s Hospital. “This extra layer of care reassures doctors that their sickest patients are vigilantly monitored when they are not present. There is a deep sense of relief knowing that emerging issues are dealt with immediately, and patients are receiving the highest recommended level of care at a moment’s notice.”
Automated alerts identify problems before they become urgent, prompting immediate intervention. When two-way communication needs to occur between the bedside and Advanced ICU Care team, either party can initiate a two-way video conference. Phone and other systems are used as necessary. Patients and families benefit from 24/7 access to an intensivist and immediate attention to any emerging health crisis. The connection to the hospital is secure to protect patient privacy; the video is only activated during clinical team interactions.
“Our critical care nurses appreciate the additional care and support of Advanced ICU Care clinicians in helping them to deliver best practices standards they want each of their patients to have,” said Tracy Fiscus, Intensive Care Unit Director at St. Mary’s. “Patients and their families’ responses have been very positive. They welcome the addition of an added care team and having access to a doctor when critical questions arise.”
About the St. Mary’s Hospital ICU
- The patient rooms are divided into three zones — a caregiver zone, a patient zone and a family zone. The spacious “family zone” in each of the patient rooms allows the patients’ loved ones to stay in the room with them.
- A decentralized model of nursing care has been implemented in the new unit allowing nurses to be with patients rather than at a centralized station.
- A new Philips cardiac monitoring system provides state-of-the-art monitoring for critically ill patients. The system consists of 12 bedside monitors and a central viewing station which provides the following types of monitoring: EKG, Non-Invasive Blood Pressure, SPO2 , End tidal CO2 as well as invasive pressure monitoring for arterial and heart pressures.
- Each patient room is very user-friendly for the caregiver. MedProx Medication Dispensing Units are in each room allowing the nurse to dispense routine medications at the bedside without going to another location to obtain the medications.
About Advanced ICU Care
Advanced ICU Care® provides a model of continuous intensive care unit (ICU) patient surveillance, supported by board certified intensivists using best of breed telemedicine technology. Through experienced clinicians and their unique process improvement program, Advanced ICU Care is setting a new standard of performance in intensive care medicine for critically ill patients across the country. Hospital ICUs are linked with Advanced ICU Care's Monitoring Center, allowing Advanced ICU Care's team of board-certified intensivists and critical care nurses to monitor hospital ICU patients from a central location. For more information, visit www.icumedicine.com.