Research Demonstrates Focused Tele-ICU Programs Improve Outcomes

January 18, 2011

ST. LOUIS, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Advanced ICU Care is presenting research on evidence-based ICU best practices from its tele-ICU programs at the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s 40th Critical Care Congress, held January 15-19 in San Diego. The research shows these best practices reduce risks to patients and prevent ICU complications.

Abstracts that will be presented include:

  • “Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) Challenges of Baseline Data Availability, Management and Ongoing Treatment of At-Risk ICU Patients” – This analysis examines the risks of DVT, a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body that can damage the organs and cause death. Advanced ICU Care’s research shows that virtual ICU intensivists prevented 260 cases of these clots in at-risk patients.
  • “Sweetening Effects of the NICE-SUGAR Study in American ICUs” – This research examines the impact of the NICE-SUGAR (Normoglycaemia in Intensive Care Evaluation Survival Using Glucose Algorithm Regulation) study in ICUs. NICE-SUGAR, published in 2009, tested whether tight glucose control by intensive insulin therapy increases 90-day survival as compared with less-strict glucose control. Advanced ICU Care’s work shows that intensivist-led teams maintained significantly low hypoglycemia rates among patients by monitoring the patients 24 hours-a-day.
  • “Multi-center Review of Rapid Stress Ulcer Assessment and Treatment of At-Risk Patients in 18 American ICUs” – This analysis examines the treatment of stress ulcers in the ICU. Stress ulcers are gastrointestinal mucosal injuries related to critical illness that can cause bleeding and death. Advanced ICU Care’s research shows that compliance with treatment to prevent stress ulcers is much higher when patients are co-managed by a virtual ICU team, proper therapy is started when indicated and unnecessary therapy is prevented.

“This research sheds light on current practices and their financial impact, and offers a solution to deliver the highest quality patient outcomes possible,” said Elizabeth Cowboy, MD, FCCP, an intensivist at Advanced ICU Care and chairwoman of tele-ICUs for SCCM who authored the research along with Isabelle Kopec, MD, FACP, FCCP; Francis Ntimba, MD, FCCP; and Erica Uhrhan.

“We are in a unique position to be able to collect and analyze data from more than 200 ICU beds at hospitals around the country to understand the clinical implications of best practices across a large patient population,” said Kopec, vice president of Medical Affairs at Advanced ICU Care. “We use this information to look for opportunities to improve our practices, which has resulted in significant improvements to key measures, such as reduction in ventilator-associated pneumonia and a decrease in the amount of time patients spend in the ICU.”

Advanced ICU Care’s abstracts highlight the use of evidence-based best practices in the ICU to improve patient outcomes and support continuous quality improvements, as well as the importance of investigative work in critical care medicine. The abstracts were also published in the December 2010 supplement to the Society’s journal, Critical Care Medicine.

“Our teams’ research in these areas demonstrates our commitment to exceptional patient care,” said Mary Jo Gorman, MD, chief executive officer for Advanced ICU Care. “We are continually working with our client hospitals to institute best practices in the ICU to improve care. We evaluate our work through data collection and feedback reports to ensure compliance with established practices. Advanced ICU Care clients have found our programs have saved lives, reduced complications and optimized care so patients recover more quickly and transfer out of the ICU sooner, all while delivering compelling financial results.”

This work is particularly important considering approximately 5 million adults are admitted to intensive care units every year, while only about 10 percent of all hospitals have intensivist programs on site. The New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) recent study “Critical Care, Critical Choices: The Case for Tele-ICUs in Intensive Care,” further validated that hospitals using tele-ICU programs have seen great improvements in patient outcomes, mortality, length of stay, margin per case, patient retention and volume growth.

About Advanced ICU Care

Advanced ICU Care® is a medical service company that provides high-quality remote critical care to patients in the intensive care units (ICU) of community hospitals. Through experienced clinicians, supported by cutting-edge telemedicine technology and a process improvement program, Advanced ICU Care provides continuous ICU patient monitoring and improved care and safety outcomes to critically ill patients across the country. Hospital ICUs are linked with Advanced ICU Care’s virtual ICU Operations Center in St. Louis, Missouri, allowing Advanced ICU Care’s board-certified intensivists (critical care medicine physicians) and critical care nurses to monitor hospital ICU patients from a central location. For more information, visit: www.icumedicine.com.

SOURCE Advanced ICU Care

Source: newswire

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