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Study: Despite Wide Adoption, Little Data Exists on eICUs

August 20, 2009
by root
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While nearly 10 percent of U.S. hospital intensive care unit (ICU) beds use eICUs, there has never been a systematic evaluation of how it affects quality and costs, according to a study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC, Washington, D.C.)

Other key study findings are as follows:

  • Hospitals adopting eICUs generally were motivated by potential to improve clinical quality and patient safety rather than expectations of cost savings
  • Among hospitals not adopting eICUs, there was agreement that the limited potential benefits did not justify significant upfront and ongoing operating costs
  • Despite the lack of specific payment or other incentives, most hospitals in the study — both with and without eICUs — were working to improve ICU performance
  • In all but one of the five eICU hospitals, poor interoperability between the eICU software and the hospitals’ enterprise-wide information technology systems created barriers to using the full extent of eICU’s advanced monitoring and outcome analysis features.

The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing timely research on the nation’s changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy.

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