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Critical Care Research and Practice
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 456389, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/456389
Research Article

Telemedicine Intervention Improves ICU Outcomes

Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Saint Louis University, 621 South New Ballas Road, Suite 4006B, St. Louis, MO 63141, USA

Received 23 October 2012; Revised 28 November 2012; Accepted 21 December 2012

Academic Editor: Mark T. Keegan

Copyright © 2013 Farid Sadaka et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Telemedicine for the intensive care unit (Tele-ICU) was founded as a means of delivering the clinical expertise of intensivists located remotely to hospitals with inadequate access to intensive care specialists. This was a retrospective pre- and postintervention study of adult patients admitted to a community hospital ICU. The patients in the preintervention period ( ) and during the Tele-ICU period ( ) were controlled for baseline characteristics, acute physiologic scores (APS), and acute physiologic and health evaluation (APACHE IV) scores. Mean APS scores were 37.1 (SD, 22.8) and 37.7 (SD, 19.4) ( ), and mean APACHE IV scores were 49.7 (SD, 24.8) and 50.4 (SD, 21.0) ( ), respectively. ICU mortality was 7.9% during the preintervention period compared with 3.8% during the Tele-ICU period (odds ratio (OR) = 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.32–0.66, ). ICU LOS in days was 2.7 (SD, 4.1) compared with 2.2 (SD, 3.4), respectively (hazard ratio (HR) = 1.16, 95% CI, 1.00–1.40, ). Implementation of Tele-ICU intervention was associated with reduced ICU mortality and ICU LOS. This suggests that there are benefits of a closed Tele-ICU intervention beyond what is provided by daytime bedside physicians.