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A new collaboration is keeping medical care closer to home for residents of Southwest Idaho. St. Luke’s recently began offering electronic monitoring to West Valley Medical Center in Caldwell and Vibra Hospital in Boise.
The program expands St. Luke’s TeleICU service into two facilities that are not part of St. Luke’s Health System, fostering collaboration that supports bedside clinicians through the use of technology.
In January 2013 St. Luke's Health System was awarded a grant from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to support an innovative approach to managing critically ill patients. St. Luke’s Telehealth program was established in Boise, and within three years has grown from monitoring three intensive care units (41 beds) to 85 monitored beds at five locations.
St. Luke’s TeleICU is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with experienced critical care nurses, and 12 hours a day, seven days a week with specially trained intensive care physicians. The team works to provide continuous, nearly simultaneous monitoring of vital signs and lab results, and uses technology to identify improving and worsening patient trends.
TeleICU staff members also make use of two-way audio/video to communicate directly with patients and care providers, and to enter and validate multiple data points that result in comprehensive reports on clinical outcomes and best practice.
Intensive care physicians are engaged with staff throughout the night to assure that progress doesn’t stop and that urgent situations receive immediate response. Proactive care provided by the TeleICU staff frequently prevents situations that could become serious threats for patients. In 2015, the team documented 10 averted falls, 67 averted respiratory events and 24 averted medication events.
The project described was supported by Grant Number 1C1CMS331060 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies.
Chereen Langrill is a former communications coordinator for St. Luke’s Health System
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