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Arkansas Hospital Adds eICU Monitoring System

January 9, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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White River Medical Center (WRMC) in Batesville, Ark., has recently connected with Baptist Health System in Little Rock, Ark., for electronic intensive care unit (eICU) services.

eICU is a two-way monitoring system that, through the push of a button, allows physicians and nurses at WRMC’s ICU to be instantly joined at their patient’s bedside by Baptist Health’s control center in Little Rock. The eICU care team includes physicians and nurses specialized in critical care who aide in reducing the number of serious complications by prompting earlier interventions.

The two-way video and “cockpit-like sensors” of this advanced telemedicine technology enables the eICU care staff to detect even the slightest change in the patient’s condition and communicate more effectively with the bedside team to reduce the time between problem identification and intervention, WRMC officials say.

Studies of healthcare systems that have implemented an eICU control center show a 27 percent reduction in mortality rate and a 17 percent reduction in length of stay, primarily because patients are being watched more closely and with quicker interventions. Patient time spent on ventilators has also shown to be reduced, according to Baptist Health officials.

WRMC, which is a 235-bed regional referral center, currently has two eICU units that can be moved to any of the 13 beds in the Batesville ICU. When the nursing staff decides which patients need the most scrutinizing care at the time, the eICU monitoring unit is moved to that patient’s room.

“This state-of-the-art technology gives our ICU staff an extra set of eyes and ears,” Jamie Nguyen, ICU nurse manager, said in a statement. “With it, we can enhance the overall care we provide to our ICU patients.”

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