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Remote monitoring cuts mortality rates. (Telemedicine).

The combination of remote monitoring equipment and computer software has dramatically reduced mortality in the intensive care unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The Norfolk, VA, hospital is the nation's first to deploy and independently test the results of the eICU[R] system and the eVantage[TM] software, developed by VISICU, Inc., a Baltimore, MD, company founded by two intensivists. Since installation of the system at Sentara in mid-2000, ICU mortality rates dropped by 25 percent and lengths of stay were cut by 17 percent, according to a study released by Cap Gemini Ernst & Young in early April.

The system, incorporating cameras, microphones, computer software and high speed Internet connections, allows intensivists to monitor ICU patients from a remote location and communicate quickly about changes in patient conditions. Dramatic changes in vital signs trigger automatic alerts to the intensivists or critical care nurses in the central location, who in turn alert on-site hospital staff for response. Rod Hochman, M.D., and chief medical officer for Sentara Healthcare, says the system helped mortality rates plunge because staff "reaction time became a

Using the electronic ICU system also reduced Sentara Healthcare's costs by $2,150 per patient, or roughly $3 million in total reductions for the first year, based on reduced patient expenses and increased ICU capacity.
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Publication:Health Management Technology
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2002
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