LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – On Tuesday, CHI Health St. Elizabeth in Lincoln launched eICU® capabilities in all 16 critical care rooms of the hospital. The technology will also be installed in the hospital’s 16 burn unit rooms in the coming days.
According to CHI, Electronic Intensive Care Unit is an innovative way of using advanced telemedicine technology to provide higher-quality care to ICU or critical care patients. Through software and a camera that’s attached to a patient’s hospital bed, a remote team made up of critical care nurses, physician assistants, physicians intensivists and others are able to talk with the patient and care team and continuously monitor ICU patients 24 hours a day, according to a release from CHI.
Vital signs, medications, blood tests, x-rays and more can be transmitted in real-time from the bedside to the eICU® team, which then provides treatment and decision-making support. While working remotely, these health care professionals collaborate directly with the bedside staff and physicians caring for the patient onsite.
“The eICU® team does not replace the bedside nurse, doctor or in-person care a critical patient receives at the hospital – it enhances it,” said Kim Sieck, MSN RN CCRN-K, CHI Health eICU® director. “This sophisticated technology is like an extra set of eyes. It’s shown to improve the great care our medical team provides through continuous monitoring of patients in real-time. The overall goal is to reduce complications and improve patient outcomes.”
The eICU project is a $600,000 investment for CHI Health St. Elizabeth. It’s also a tool that’s expected to alleviate some of the challenges COVID-19 has created for health care workers, CHI said.
“We expect eICU® to not only improve patient care, but also to help preserve personal protective equipment and cut down on the risk of exposure for both patients and staff,” said Derek Vance, FACHE, CHI Health St. Elizabeth president. “Some COVID patients are cared for in our ICU unit. If the patient needs something our eICU® team can help with, the onsite care team won’t always have to enter the room. This limits exposure while the patient, the floor staff and the remote team remain in constant communication.”
Since July 2007, CHI Health has been utilizing eICU® in its critical care units across the state, including at CHI Health St. Francis and all hospital locations in the Omaha Metro. Patient confidentiality is strictly maintained by eICU® technology, which adheres to the same HIPAA laws that protect patient charts.
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