Resurrection Health Uses IT to Address Critical Care Crisis
<strong>Chicago — April 16</strong><br />Critical care patients at seven Resurrection Health Care hospitals are far less likely now to develop complications and have extended intensive care unit (ICU) stays since the health system implemented an advanced information technology system. <br /> <br />Data from more than 12,000 patients treated from 2006 to 2008 at 13 Resurrection ICUs, presented last week at the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference, shows substantial reductions in complications, mortality and length of stay. This data supports results from other hospitals nationwide, that using eICU technology to link remote critical care specialists with hospital ICU teams is a solution to the nation's growing crisis in critical care. <br /> <br />Resurrection's eICU system (VISICU, Baltimore, Md.) uses information technology and connectivity to link ICU patients and their bedside care teams across Chicago to a remote centralized command center staffed by Resurrection intensive care specialists and critical care nurses. Intensivist physicians are in short supply, and the Leapfrog Group has documented numerous studies that show intensivist staffing reduces the risk of ICU mortality by up to 40 percent, but less than a third of patients nationwide have access to these specialists. <br /> <br />"24x7 intensivist-led care has become a necessity, not a luxury, and this system has proven to be an excellent way to address the growing critical care crisis resulting from aging baby boomers and the shortage of critical care doctors and nurses," said Pat Shehorn, executive vice president and CEO at Resurrection's Westlake and West Suburban Hospitals. <br /><br />"We have seen a reduction in our net costs using this program, which we believe demonstrates improved access to intensive care specialists and represents a win-win for patients and hospitals. Our implementation of this system supports the nation's goals of reduced costs and better outcomes using information technology."<br /> <br />Federal stimulus funding for heath information technology is a key part of efforts to advance national health care improvements, including lowering the cost of health care.<br /><br />The results were presented at HIMSS by Rebecca Rufo, RN, DNSc CCRN, operations director of the Resurrection Health Care eICU Program. "We have seen the dramatic mortality and cost benefits that information technology can bring to our patients here at Resurrection. Conditions in the ICU can change in a matter of minutes, and we owe it to patients and their families to deliver the highest quality care around-the-clock, seven days a week," Rufo added.<br />
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