Perceived benefit of a telemedicine consultative service in a highly staffed intensive care unit
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a nocturnal telemedicine service improves culture, staff satisfaction, and perceptions of quality of care in a highly staffed university critical care system.
We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of telemedicine on nursing-staff satisfaction and perceptions of the quality of care in an intensive care unit (ICU). We surveyed ICU nurses using a modified version of a previously validated tool before deployment and after a 2-month experimental program of tele-ICU. Nurses in another, similar ICU within the same hospital academic medical center served as concurrent controls for the survey responses.
Survey responses were measured using a 5-point Likert scale, and results were analyzed using paired t testing. Survey responses of the nurses in the intervention ICU (n = 27) improved significantly after implementation of the tele-ICU program in the relations and communication subscale (2.99 ± 1.13 pre vs 3.27 ± 1.27 post, P < .01), the psychological working conditions and burnout subscale (3.10 ± 1.10 pre vs 3.23 ± 1.11 post, P < .02), and the education subscale (3.52 ± 0.84 pre vs 3.76 ± 0.78 post, P < .03). In contrast, responses in the control ICU (n = 11) declined in the patient care and perceived effectiveness (3.94 ± 0.80 pre vs 3.48 ± 0.86 post, P < .01) and the education (3.95 ± 0.39 pre vs 3.50 ± 0.80 post, P < .05) subscales.
Telemedicine has the potential to improve staff satisfaction and communication in highly staffed ICUs.
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ABSTRACT: Aging population is set to increase in the near future, and will need specialized care when admitted to ICUs. The elderly are beset with chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular, COPD, diabetes, renal complications and depression. Specialist opinions can now be made available through telemedicine facilities. Tele-ICU is a specialized hub consisting of highly skilled staff trained in critical care able to deliver timely, quality care service to patients admitted to ICUs in remote areas using highly advanced information technology services. These specialists in the tele-ICU hub are able to analyze and gather data arriving at timely interventional management decisions and provide this vital feedback to the nursing staff and doctors manning remote ICU locations where specialized intensivist may not be available. Known clinical benefits of such a system include better patient outcomes, reduced medical errors, mortality and reduced hospital length of stay. The main disadvantage in implementation could be the upfront high cost involved, for which low-cost models are being explored. In the face of delivering such remote care, it is up to the local health policy to make legislative changes to include associated legal and ethical issues. Considering the burgeoning aging population, tele-ICU could become the way forward in delivering geriatric critical care.Aging - Clinical and Experimental Research 05/2014; 26(6). DOI:10.1007/s40520-014-0217-z · 1.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Telemedicine extends intensivists' reach to critically ill patients cared for by other physicians. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of telemedicine on patients' outcomes. METHODS: We searched electronic databases through April 2012, bibliographies of included trials, and indexes and conference proceedings in two journals (2001 to 2012). We selected controlled trials or observational studies of critically ill adults or children, examining the effects of telemedicine on mortality. Two authors independently selected studies and extracted data on outcomes (mortality and length of stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital) and methodologic quality. We used random-effects meta-analytic models unadjusted for case mix or cluster effects and quantified between-study heterogeneity by using I2 (the percentage of total variability across studies attributable to heterogeneity rather than to chance). RESULTS: Of 865 citations, 11 observational studies met selection criteria. Overall quality was moderate (mean score on Newcastle-Ottawa scale, 5.1/9; range, 3 to 9). Meta-analyses showed that telemedicine, compared with standard care, is associated with lower ICU mortality (risk ratio (RR) 0.79; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.65 to 0.96; nine studies, n = 23,526; I2 = 70%) and hospital mortality (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.73 to 0.94; nine studies, n = 47,943; I2 = 72%). Interventions with continuous patient-data monitoring, with or without alerts, reduced ICU mortality (RR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.64 to 0.95; six studies, n = 21,384; I2 = 74%) versus those with remote intensivist consultation only (RR, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.20 to 2.07; three studies, n = 2,142; I2 = 71%), but effects were statistically similar (interaction P = 0.74). Effects were also similar in higher (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.68 to 1.02) versus lower (RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.40 to 1.19; interaction, P = 0.53) quality studies. Reductions in ICU and hospital length of stay were statistically significant (weighted mean difference (telemedicine-control), -0.62 days; 95% CI, -1.21 to -0.04 days and -1.26 days; 95% CI, -2.49 to -0.03 days, respectively; I2 > 90% for both). CONCLUSIONS: Telemedicine was associated with lower ICU and hospital mortality among critically ill patients, although effects varied among studies and may be overestimated in nonrandomized designs. The optimal telemedicine technology configuration and dose tailored to ICU organization and case mix remain unclear.Critical care (London, England) 07/2012; 16(4):R127. DOI:10.1186/cc11429