To provide the highest possible quality of care and enhanced monitoring to critically ill patients – and added peace of mind for their loved ones – UMass Memorial Medical Center was the first hospital in the state to implement an innovative ICU telemedicine program that has served in all of UMass Memorial Health Care hospitals’ adult intensive care units (ICUs) starting in 2007. UMass Memorial has been recognized as a national leader for best practices in telemedicine.
Which Hospitals in the UMass Memorial System Use the eICU?
Today, our ICU telemedicine program supports adult patients admitted to intensive care units across the UMass Memorial Health Care system, including those at:
- UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester
- HealthAlliance Hospital, Leominster Campus
- Marlborough Hospital, Marlborough
In addition, several other hospitals in Massachusetts have partnered with us to provide ICU telemedicine services for their intensive care patients – a testament to the effectiveness of the technology and the expertise of our intensivist team.
How the eICU Works
Using advanced telemedicine technology, a team of specially trained eICU critical care nurses and intensivists – physicians with extra training in critical care medicine – monitors ICU patients 24/7 from a remote support center at UMass Memorial Medical Center. The team uses advanced technology and tools to detect subtle changes in the patients’ vital signs—before they become apparent—and work with the patient’s care team to quickly correct the problem.
- The ICU telemedicine team has secure access to computer terminals displaying each patient’s vital signs as well as the patient’s medical records, laboratory tests and other information.
- With the slightest change in the patient’s condition, an alert is instantly sent over high-speed data lines notifying the remote intensivist to look more closely at the situation.
- The intensivist can then activate a bedside video camera to visually check the patient’s condition and alert the on-site nurse.
This real-time intensive monitoring enables us to identify subtle changes in a patient’s condition sooner – ensuring that the right care is provided at the right time.
The Benefits of the ICU Telemedicine Program at UMass Memorial
The ICU telemedicine program complements the dedicated care our ICU nurses provide at the bedside. This support system helps ensure every patient gets optimal care more quickly and minimizes complications. As a result, studies in major medical journals have shown that at hospitals using the eICU system:
- Patients recover faster and spend less time in the ICU
- More patients are able to go home from the hospital instead of to a rehabilitation facility
- There is a 27 percent reduction in the mortality rate
- Medical costs are reduced due to fewer complications and shorter stays in the hospital