Physician Group Announces New Tele-ICU Company
Sacramento, Calif., Sept. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Critical care physician Muhammad Afzal, M.D. smiled as he recalled saving a patient’s life — from a room miles away from the bedside.
The lucky man was just one of hundreds of patients Dr. Afzal and his partner Tele-ICU physicians watch over at 14 northern California area hospital critical care units on a daily basis. Some they see in person, and many they observe from a remote location while continuously monitoring patient vital signs, physiologic trends, treatment results, and, as needed, communicating directly to the bedside with two-way audio/visual communication.
Sixteen of these intensivist physicians have formed a new company, Performance ICU, which will offer Tele-ICU medicine to hospitals and health systems throughout the nation. The doctors’ combined critical care medicine and e-ICU experience makes them one of the most experienced Tele-ICU intensivist physician groups in the country.
Dr. Afzal, CEO of Performance ICU, stated, “We believe the timing is right for introducing our new company. There is a growing shortage of critical care physicians at the same time as the U.S. population is aging. Hospitals are aggressively looking for solutions that improve patient care while reducing costs. Tele-ICU medicine has been proven to do just that.”
Although the physician group is initially targeting the Western United States for its services, it has plans to be a national company with multiple remote monitoring hubs within a few years.
Tele-ICU medicine is particularly important to rural hospitals.
Dr. Afzal emphasized, “Performance ICU is committed to working with rural and critical access hospitals, along with larger facilities and systems, to help bring intensive care physicians and highly experienced critical care nurses to historically underserved facilities and communities.”
Research indicates that both the mortality rate and the length of stay for ICU patients decrease with the introduction of intensive care physicians in ICUs. According to a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine review, “hospitals should consider employing intensivists to monitor their ICUs, but only 7,000 in the U.S. are board-certified, far fewer than are needed to meet the demand.”
“We are not restricted by geographic distance or the hospital’s current technology,” noted managing partner Richard DeFelice, M.D. “Our technology platform is vendor neutral and we can provide hospitals and health systems with an affordable solution to staffing their ICUs with intensivists during the hours for which they do not have critical care physicians available.”
Chief Operating Officer Jude Sell-Gutowski added, “We have spent the past 18 months developing our program, getting the operational and financial structures in place, and securing our vendor relationships. We are in discussions with several potential clients and are anticipating we will begin providing remote patient ICU monitoring services within six months.”
For more information on Performance ICU and its Tele-ICU services, visit www.ICUdocs.com.
Contact: Lori Aldrete, 916-501-2654
SOURCE Performance ICU