Advanced ICU Care and SSM St. Mary's Health Care Center are celebrating the fifth anniversary of a first of its kind partnership that brought the next generation of innovative critical care to Jefferson City-area ICU patients. This was the first partnership of its kind in the nation and the first tele-ICU in the region.
"This partnership has delivered exceptional quality and support to the patients, the staff, the physicians and the community at large," said St. Mary's President Brent VanConia. "We have embraced this cutting-edge approach to treatment, and it has led to nothing but great success for our patients and our staff. This level of care is really the standard of care today."
St. Mary's tele-ICU technology allows Advanced ICU Care's intensivists to monitor and treat ICU patients in real time, 24/7, collaborating with local caregivers and providing support for evidence-based best practices in the ICU to improve patient outcomes and efficiency. Advanced ICU Care's specialized clinicians have touched more than 5,000 patients at St. Mary's during the last five years.
The partnership allows the hospital to save lives, reduce complications and optimize care in the ICU so patients recover more quickly and transfer out of the ICU, and leave the hospital sooner.
For instance, St. Mary's respiratory and pulmonology departments and Advanced ICU Care clinicians have collaborated to improve outcomes for patients with common ICU conditions, such as adult respiratory distress syndrome and acute lung injury. Since implementing the virtual ICU program, the hospital has consistently met best practices, or commonly accepted ideal treatment standards and benchmarks, in these areas.
"Through this program with Advanced ICU Care, we have been able to deliver better quality care to our patients and focus our work on the face-to-face interactions we can have with patients and their families," said Donna Bell, RN, manager of St. Mary's ICU.
"St. Mary's has been an excellent partner during the last five years," said Dr. Mary Jo Gorman, chief executive officer for Advanced ICU Care. "We have worked seamlessly with their teams of physicians to support the ICU and help them to continue to provide the best possible care and safety for their patients."
The partnership is particularly significant considering approximately 5 million adults are admitted to intensive care units every year, while only about 10 percent of all hospitals have intensivist programs on site. The New England Healthcare Institute (NEHI) recent study "Critical Care, Critical Choices: The Case for Tele-ICUs in Intensive Care," further validated that hospitals using tele-ICU programs have seen great improvements in patient outcomes, mortality, length of stay, margin per case, patient retention and volume growth. The study called for the adoption of tele-ICUs in order to improve quality of care and increase efficiency of the healthcare system.
Advanced ICU Care provides high-quality critical care to patients in the intensive care units of hospitals across the country. Using telemedicine, Advanced ICU Care brings 24/7 board-certified intensivist coverage together with a proven process improvement program to help manage ICUs more effectively and deliver improved patient outcomes and financial results. Hospital ICUs nationwide are linked with Advanced ICU Care's Monitoring Center in St. Louis.