Since 2002, hospitals have seen a near-50% rise in ICU admissions from the emergency room. And, as with other specialties, many hospitals struggle due to a growing shortage of intensivists. The Society of Hospital Medicine notes that 75% of hospitalists cover the ICU, and while committed and highly skilled, they may not have the special training required to care for the most complex, critically ill patients.
The REACH Health ICU Telemedicine solution is used to provide acute care patients with access to remote specialists and ultimately help improve outcomes. When REACH is used in the ICU:
- Patients can be evaluated by a critical care specialist before being admitted or transferred. This not only reduces delays but also facilitates triage by the intensivist (or appropriate specialist) to determine if the patient requires a transfer or really needs to be in the critical care ward. REACH is used to determine the most appropriate treatment in the most appropriate setting of care.
- Intensivists are now accessible to patients and other consulting physicians anytime, from anywhere. They can conveniently and cost-effectively support multiple facilities, including nights, weekends and holidays.
- Hospitalists and critical care nurses can gain faster access to specialists who have advanced training in the complexities of acute care. For example, CMV (cytomegalovirus) infection is frequently found in ICU patients, potentially life threatening, and difficult to diagnose. REACH is used to make timely diagnoses and address these and many other common challenges in the ICU.
Clinical Workflow for ICU
Similar to other specialty-specific clinical workflows supported by REACH, the ICU Telemedicine solution includes specific workflows as well. These workflows, enabled by REACH Clinical Widget® applications, foster a collaborative team approach for the bedside clinicians and remote specialists. Throughout the process, key data needed to make an accurate treatment recommendation is always visible. As each member of the treatment team updates information in REACH, the updates are highlighted for the other team members.
The ICU navigation follows a typical acute care workflow, and incorporates a wide range of diagnostic tests and tools. The remote specialist controls the camera to assess the patient and participate in a two-way audio/visual exchange with the patient, clinical staff and/or the attending physician. The specialist can review trended vital signs and lab values, and view any diagnostic test results and images such as x-rays, CT images, EKGs, ultrasounds and more, all within the single sign-on and application, on one device (laptop, tablet, etc.).
The remote specialist can also use an e-stethoscope to listen to the patient’s pulmonary function and log the results into the examination record within REACH.
At the conclusion of a telemedicine consultation, a detailed consult report is generated to provide a comprehensive view of the patient encounter. The results of the consultation can also be uploaded to the patient’s medical record in the EMR to ensure that historical treatment information is up to date.
Contact us to learn more or request a demonstration of this next-generation ICU Telemedicine solution.