Term: eICU

Description
A revolutionary new program that is being implemented in hospitals throughout the United States is called eICU. What eICU does it " allows hospitals to create a system-wide critical care program, built on a powerful technology infrastructure that improves quality, operating efficiency, and economic performance." In other words it allows the hospital to constantly monitor their patients in the ICU which allows the hospital to track and predict the patient's vital trends.

Through computers and specifically designed software, eICU is able to succeed in hospitals. In a visual sense, it is similar to to what air traffic controllers see and do. They monitor airplanes to make sure that they are heading where their supposed to be and to help the pilots if complications occur. This is exactly(figuratively speaking) what eICU does for the patients in ICUs. It monitors the patient's vital signs and the software will alert the hospital staff if complications arise so that they can act before a serious problem can occur. Studies show that hospitals that use eICU in their ICUs that it will reduce the mortality rate of that ICU by 25%! So not only does it save lives, it also reduces costs. The key elements that allow eICU to be successful is constant surveillance, providing the patient with immediate access to a physician, and giving the physician the patient's health information quickly so the right decisions can be made swiftly. They also have introduced new hot phones that create an instantaneous link between every ICU in the network and the eICU team. Picking up the phone allows the ICU nurse or on site physician instant access to the eICU. They have also developed new eCareMobile Unit that allows any bed in the hospital able to connect to the network to turn into a critical care center.

These are all helpful new improvements because with natural disasters or tragedy's it allows the hospital to not only supply intensive care in the ICU but also in any bed that has network connection. Most hospitals will run out of ICU space and will have to have critical patients in normal beds with not as much care and supervision. These new mobile care units will allow the hospitals to provide better care to more critically injured patients anywhere in the hospital.

Applications
  • Can be used in rural hospitals
  • Lowers costs
  • Proven to lower the mortality rate of a given ICU by 25%
  • Monitors patient's vital signs and trends
  • Alerts hospital staff if a negative vital trend occurs allowing doctors and nurses to act much more quickly.
  • Allows any part of the hospital to be turned into a critical care area
  • Hot Phones provide instant updates for any nurse or physician needing to check on the patient

Web Resources

Terminology
  • ICU- Intensive Care Units-The ward in the hospital where very ill patients are monitored very closely. Typically, the patient-staff ratio is very low and the life-saving equipment used is very advanced.

Citations

Graphics

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An eICU station at work!
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A typical eICU workstation
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Through eICU software hospitals can track patient's vital trends
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