Medical Center Offers Telehealth Monitoring in ICU

July 7, 2011
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The patient has a choice to be monitored by either a remote doctor while in intensive care or to choose doctors and nurses on premise.  In this example below, the doctor is in Israel and went to school here in the US, so he is familiar with American practices and medical centers and that is a help. 

The patient has a choice to be monitored by either a remote doctor while in intensive care or to choose doctors and nurses on premise.  In this example below, the doctor is in Israel and went to school here in the US, so he is familiar with American practices and medical centers and that is a help. 

Banner says the monitoring in the ICU has saved lives and reduces the time of stay in the hospital.  The doctor in Israel has a small office in Tel Aviv that has all of his remote monitoring equipment complete with t-1 high speed data lines.  With the time difference he is covering the night shift here in the states.  He also does some local hospital work so as not to lose his patient in person skills as well.  On an average shift he gets 15-20 calls from nurses and if course he can call a hospital nurse or doctor immediately. 

Banner has a command center set up that connects doctors and hospitals and covers about 450 beds. Doctors in southern California are also joining the system to monitor patients remotely so if you are an MD in California and want to look into this check out Banner Hospitals.  Critical-care specialists, also known as “intensivists,” do the monitoring and they can cover more patients than could be done in person.  The iCare service has been around since 2006 so this is not brand new.  BD 

Taylor, 32 and a Phoenix resident, instead went to Banner Estrella Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening diabetic reaction.

At the Phoenix hospital’s intensive-care unit, Taylor was treated remotely by a doctor in Tel Aviv, Israel, via a two-way camera installed in the patient’s room.

Health-care companies such as Banner have turned increasingly to remote doctors to monitor their patients because of a shortage of critical-care specialists.

Dr. Baruch Goldstein assessed Taylor, monitored his vital signs and regularly communicated with him and his nurses, who provided hands-on care. Taylor received insulin, potassium, magnesium and fluid to treat diabetic acidosis, a condition in which a lack of insulin caused his blood levels to rise. He was out of the hospital’s intensive-care unit within 48 hours and returned home that Thursday.

Taylor was satisfied that Goldstein, located half a world away, checked him several times during the day and night, even navigating a scare when Taylor’s heart rate slowed in reaction to multiple needle injections. Not only could the doctor see the patient, but the patient could see the doctor.

“This one was a little more instantaneous. I felt he (Goldstein) could respond faster, rather than having to waiting for a doctor to come to your room or call a nurse back.”

Banner Health’s system is among the nation’s largest remote telemedicine systems used for critical care.

Over the past four years, Banner said that patients have spent 26,000 fewer days in critical care and nearly 100,000 fewer days in hospital rooms. Last year, Banner estimates that the remote system saved more than 600 lives by providing more attentive care from critical-care specialists.

Hospitals turn to telemedicine for remote care of patients – USATODAY.com

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