Innovative Program Provides a Second Set of Eyes in ICU
That is precisely what is about to happen in the Trauma and Life Support Center at University of Wisconsin Hospital as an innovative, centralized and around-the-clock monitoring system called e-Care is introduced.
The technology and support with the brand name eICU® was developed by VISICU, a health care information technology company.
"There is a serious and growing shortage of critical care doctors and nurses. e-Care allows us to continue high-quality care despite workforce challenges. And it will help us to recruit and retain critical care physicians and nurses," said Ken Wood, DO, UW Health director of critical care medicine in the TLC.
"One of the many outstanding features of e-Care is an early warning system which alerts staff of potential patient complications," said Wood.
Secure data lines linking the operations center and the intensive-care unit insure that all patient data is encrypted until the information reaches either the e-Care center or the hospital. Cameras are turned off except when data shows that a patient should be checked. A bell and a green light on the cameras alert those in the patient's room that the camera is active. Anyone in the patient room will be able to contact the e-Care monitoring center by the press of a button.
e-Care also will make the routine patient care and charting more efficient by the use of virtual rounds and clinical documentation.
The system has been adopted by more than 200 hospitals nationwide as the shortage of intensive care specialists grows and as evidence builds that the earliest possible intervention may help reduce complications among the most severely ill patients.
e-Care of Wisconsin LLC is a separate company within UW Health.
eICU® is a registered trademark of VISICU, Inc.
Date Published: 05/28/2009