Telemedicine on the ICU, Saves lives and $$s

telemed

We have already bogged about the value of telemedicine for the evaluation of acute stroke patients in the emergency room.

Telemedicine can be valuable in any hospital department, including the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).  ICU telemedicine involves a combination of videoconferencing technology, telemetry, and electronic medical records in order to allow off-site intensivists and critical care nurses to assist in the treatment of critically ill patients.

A 2011 metanalysis of studies published from 1950 to 2010 had found that telemedicine in the ICU was associated with a significant reduction in ICU mortality and length of stay.

A more recent prospective study published in Chest last week showed that tele-ICU care improved adherence to ICU best practices, reduced the response times to alarms, leading to lower mortality and length of stay.

Keep in mind that the cost of 1 day in the ICU can be as high as $6,000-$10,000.