A Small Hospital System's ICUs
A hospital system with two hospitals had only part-time in-house intensivist coverage. The critical care physicians would round on the ICU patients in the morning, but the physicians were not in the ICU most of the day. Patient issues which would arise in the ICUs after they had completed their rounds were often left to the hospitalists to manage. This was clearly suboptimal and did not meet accepted standards of ICU care. At night, ICU patients continued to be managed by hospitalists, who were also responsible for the management of non-ICU patients throughout the hospital. The intensivists were available from home by telephone, which meant that they had to be woken up if their expertise was needed. As such, they were only involved in the most urgent issues. Since they were at home, they had to rely on information relayed to them by the nurses or hospitalists as they did not have easy access to the EMR or the bedside telemetry. Management of less-acute problems were often postponed until the morning. RemoteICU was brought in to address these problems. RemoteICU enables a comprehensive ICU telemedicine solution, including technology and critical care board-certified physicians who are members of the hospital staff. The RemoteICU doctors are available from their workstations continuously, with instant access to the EMR, radiology images, and bedside telemetry as well as high-definition cameras in each room which enable them to assess the patients and to interact with them and/or their family members.