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Telemedicine Offers Highest Level of Care to CCU

January 28, 2015 2:53 p.m.

Beginning in February, severely ill patients who are being treated in the Sarah Bush Lincoln Critical Care Unit (CCU) will benefit from a telemedicine program that has been proven in multiple studies to increase survival rates, decrease the time spent in critical care units and reduce the lengths of patients’ hospitalizations. Lower rates of preventable complications and improvements in best practices have also been shown.

Intensivists, doctors who specialize in caring for critically ill people, will enhance your physician’s care at the bedside as they will oversee all Sarah Bush Lincoln CCU patients through a television-like monitor. They will monitor patients’ vital signs, EKGs, lab reports, radiology reports, medications and blood pressures, and they will consult with in-unit staff to avert additional crises, including often dangerous and complicated transfers to other hospitals.

Proactive data management tools – another essential element of the telemedicine system – identify problems before they become urgent, prompting immediate intervention when necessary. Through the two-way monitor, intensivists can talk with patients, family members and staff to glean additional information and address questions and concerns.

CCU director Eli Heicher, RN, said, “We are excited to be working with Advanced ICU Care, the nation’s largest provider of tele-ICU services. This new service will help us provide the highest level of medical care available, as our patients will be monitored around the clock by incredible specialists.”

“Demographically, we’re not a large enough community to attract the specialists needed to care for critically ill people. While many communities aren’t large enough, nationwide there is a shortage of these specialists,” Heicher explained. “Through this collaborative service, people who would have been transferred to other organizations will be able to stay here and will consistently receive the gold standard of care using evidence-based protocols.”

The specialists working remotely with Sarah Bush Lincoln are critical-care trained doctors and nurses who treat people with the most serious issues. All have extensive experience. Heicher stressed that patients’ local doctors will continue to manage their care with the assistance of Advanced ICU Care staff members.

For more information about Advanced ICU services, call Eli Heicher, RN, director Critical Care Unit at 217-258-2556.


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