The partnership uses Philips’ remote intensive care unit (eICU) technology and will see Emory Healthcare intensivists and critical care nurses based onsite at Sydney’s MQ Health. MQ Health is the first university-led integrated health campus in Australia, which brings together research and clinical care.
The cooperation enables the Sydney-based US clinicians to provide continuous night-time critical care oversight to patients back in the United States during daytime hours, enabling the clinical team to be wide awake as opposed to working at night.
24/7 remote management
Combining daytime coverage in Atlanta with night-time coverage from Sydney provides around-the-clock remote management of intensive care unit (ICU) patients by critical care specialists, when adverse events are most likely to occur, decreasing the risk of complications, shortening patients’ length of stay and saving lives.
Philips’ eICU program is a comprehensive program that enables health care professionals from a centralized eICU center to provide around-the-clock care for critically ill patients. A study that compared patients receiving usual ICU care with patients who received their ICU care from a hospital that utilized the eICU program, showed that the latter were 26% more likely to survive the ICU and discharged from the ICU 20% faster.
The solution allows for near real-time remote monitoring and early intervention via audio-visual technology and algorithms that can predict deteriorations in health, giving clinicians the ability to communicate with local caregivers via live video link, continuously monitor patient health, and advise on the best course of treatment from wherever they are located.
Less costs, less stress
Hospitals dealing with intensive care physician and nurse shortages can now provide patients with 24/7 clinical expertise and additional, proactive support to the in-hospital care team. Bringing critical care closer to the patient, remote monitoring removes the hurdle of geography and reduces the burden of transporting patients. This will help healthcare providers avoid transport associated costs, while patients or their families won’t have the stress of transferring to higher level critical care centers.
Making a difference
“We are operating in a time when connected health solutions can truly make a difference in a patient’s experience,” said Kevin Barrow, Managing Director Philips Australia and New Zealand. “We know that funding for critical care and critical access is not growing despite increases in demand driven by population growth. This program uses a proactive and continuous care model that enable the right care to be delivered remotely at the right time.”
“Thanks to our eICU program we can continuously monitor Atlanta-based patients from MQ Health in Sydney and support the bedside team by recognising adverse physiology, making critical diagnoses and intervening before those issues become significant problems,” adds Dr Timothy Buchman, Chief, Critical Care Service, Emory Healthcare. “In Australia, these types of technologies also have far-reaching potential to support care of rural and remote patients. Currently the optimal medical treatment, in a stressful setting such as the ICU, can be thousands of miles away. The introduction of electronically-delivered specialist care has the potential to standardise the quality of care between the CBD and the countryside.”
 Gershengorn H.B. 2016. Nighttime Extubations Are Associated With Worse Outcomes For U.S. Intensive Care Unit Patients. Outstanding Epidemiology and Health Services Research in Critical Care. Available online: http://www.atsjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1164/ajrccm-conference.2016.193.1_MeetingAbstracts.A6150. Date accessed: September 2016.
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 A Multicenter Study of ICU Telemedicine Reengineering of Adult Critical Care, Chest Journal, March 2014. Available online: http://journal.publications.chestnet.org/article.aspx?articleid=1788059&resultClick=1. Date accessed: September 2016.