eICU programs leveraged to advance critical care services to rural communities

May 12, 2010
Andover, Mass.–As part of a growing trend, rural hospitals from across the country are collaborating with larger tertiary care facilities and independent critical care monitoring providers to bring eICU telehealth services and support to their local rural communities. Royal Philips Electronics is supporting this trend and addressing clinician shortages by expanding access to critical care support in rural communities with the eICU Program from Philips VISICU.

According to the Office of Rural Health Policy, while nearly one-fourth of the US population resides in rural areas and approximately one-third of the country’s hospitals are located in these communities, only one in 10 physicians practice in rural America. The following hospitals have recently taken the initiative to partner with eICU service providers to increase patients’ access to critical care specialists in their local communities:

  • Grinnell Regional Medical Center (Grinnell, Iowa) with Mercy Health Network – Mercy eICU® Connect (Des Moines, Iowa);
  • Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center (Kodiak, Alaska) with Providence Alaska Medical CenterProvidence eICU (Anchorage, Alaska); and
  • Union Hospital (Clinton, Ind.) with Advanced ICU Care (St. Louis, Mo.).

By treating patients closer to home, hospitals can potentially avoid having to send them to tertiary care facilities outside the immediate area. Since implementing the eICU program through advanced ICU care, Union Hospital has reduced ICU length of stay by 26 percent, allowing for an 18 percent increase in ICU admissions.

Published data demonstrates that patient transfers from 10 small and critical access hospitals utilizing eICU services were reduced 37 percent, providing benefit to patients and their families while saving $1.2 million in associated transfer costs.