Cushing hooks into St. Luke’s eICU system
Patients in Cushing Memorial Hospital’s intensive care unit are benefiting from an added layer of care since it launched advanced medical surveillance technology in August.
At Cushing, three of the six ICU beds recently became part of St. Luke’s Health System’s eICU®, a patient monitoring station that observes and evaluates critically ill patients in multiple ICUs and hospitals from a single off-site location. Cushing is the first in the region to utilize this breakthrough technology, supplementing the quality care being delivered at the bedside.
St. Luke’s eICU system uses computers and sophisticated technology, along with a trained physician, a critical care nurse, and a technician, to monitor patients from the eICU clinical operations room at the health system’s technology center based in Lee’s Summit, Mo. With automated warning and decision-support software, the eICU system provides additional proactive vigilance in ICUs across the health system.
Vital signs, medications, blood test results, X-rays and other information from bedside monitors are sent to the eICU care team through private, high-speed data lines. Patients can also be examined through the use of special cameras, which allow the eICU care team to talk directly with the hospital doctors and nurses.
“The eICU technology allows the eICU care team to do everything but touch the patient,” said Dr. Vincent Lem, St. Luke’s Health System’s eICU medical director.
All patients admitted to an ICU that is connected to the eICU system are monitored by the eICU care team. Physicians select the level of care which he or she delegates to the eICU team. This may range from monitoring to fully implementing the care plan as ordered by the physician. The eICU care team communicates frequently with each physician about the patients and the plan of medical care.
“It’s been extraordinarily nice to have the critical care expertise of the eICU, especially at night,” said Stacy Sedler, R.N., intensive care unit nurse manager at Cushing. “If a nurse wants a second opinion before contacting the primary care physician, he or she can call the eICU and immediately have the resources of a critical care physician and a nurse.”
Independent studies prove that hospitals using this approach to ICU care are showing marked improvements in patient outcomes, reduced length of stay and clinical complications, and savings in health care costs. With a nationwide shortage of critical care medicine providers, the eICU is an innovative way to extend that expertise to intensive care beds throughout the system. St. Luke’s partnered with Baltimore, Md.-based VISICU, Inc., for this innovative technology.
“The eICU system really does give St. Luke’s a quality edge,” said Jennifer Ball, R.N., M.B.A., St. Luke’s eICU operations manager. “The combination of the nurses and doctors in the hospital with the eICU team offers our patients the very best possible care.”
Participating St. Luke’s ICUs:
• Hedrick Medical Center, Chillicothe, Mo.
• Cushing Memorial Hospital, Leavenworth.
• St. Luke’s East – Lee’s Summit
• St. Luke’s South, Overland Park.
• St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
• St. Luke’s Northland Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.
For more information on the eICU care available at Cushing Memorial Hospital / St. Luke’s Health System, visit saintlukeshealthsystem.org.