AP/Fresno Bee Examines Increased Popularity of ‘Enhanced Intensive Care’ Technology
The AP/Fresno Bee on Monday examined the growing popularity of "enhanced intensive care" technology, or eICU, which allows intensive care physicians and nurses to monitor multiple patients at different hospitals simultaneously.
The technology, created by Baltimore-based VISICU, lets health care providers monitor patients' vital signs remotely using in-room cameras and computers, which display patients' diagnoses and progress. If the monitoring physicians or nurses detect a problem, they can relay the information through a videoconferencing system to an onsite nurse, who can then check on the patient.
According to officials for New York-based Kaleida Health, which installed an eICU system this summer, the technology is in use in 18 hospital systems nationwide. Virginia-based Sentara Healthcare, the first hospital system to install the technology, said it helped save the lives of 97 patients in 2003 while covering 65 beds.
Cynthia Ambres, Kaleida's chief medical officer, said, "I think that it changes the quality of the care in a way that could not be equaled, even if you doubled or tripled the staffing onsite." Kaleida officials said that the system is intended to "enhance, not replace, in-person care by allowing doctors to quickly catch and respond to trouble more quickly," the AP/Bee reports (Thompson, AP/Fresno Bee, 1/3).