An intensive care unit (ICU) telemedicine program is a practical way to increase access as well as to reduce mortality rates and length of stay, according to a review in the November issue of Critical Care Medicine.
“Critical Care Telemedicine: Evolution and State of the Art” summarizes the results of numerous telemedicine studies, reviewing the growth and current penetration of ICU telemedicine programs, their associated outcomes and their impact on medical education. The review also identifies program revenue sources and costs and regulatory aspects.
Proposals for further advancing the field are provided in an editorial by Jeremy Khan, MD, MS.
Developed with input from the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Tele-ICU Committee, led by Craig M. Lilly, MD, FCCM, the review calls urgently for comparative effectiveness studies. Dr. Lilly has tied telemedicine to current events, noting how such tools have been used to help manage high-risk Ebola patients by limiting room entries, by allowing for consultation without infectious exposure and by facilitating patient communication with family and friends.
SCCM resources related to telemedicine are available in the Administration Knowledge Line of LearnICU.org. In past issues, Critical Connections has featured two articles on the topic: “Should Critical Care Training Programs Start Offering Formal Training in Tele-ICU?” and “All Eyes on the ICU – Telemedicine.”