Royal Philips, a global leader in health technology, and Florida-based Health First today announced the outcomes of their successful 15-year tele-critical partnership. Powered by Philips’ acute telehealth platform eCareManager, Health First’s VitalWatch eICU has demonstrated significant reductions in mortality and lengths of stay for the health system’s sickest patient population. Leveraging eCareManager to synthesize patient data for actionable insights to support proactive care, Health First has created a centralized hub for patient care across venues beyond the ICU.

Significant ICU improvement results

Health First became Florida’s first tele-ICU when the organization went live with VitalWatch in September 2004 and remains the only tele-ICU hub in Central Florida today.

VitalWatch allows Health First’s critical care physicians and nurses to monitor real-time vital signs, laboratory results, and patients’ complete electronic medical records from a central location across 102 ICU beds at the four Health First hospitals. The VitalWatch staff can also direct a patient’s care on the spot via live audio and video connections to the patient’s room if needed.

To date, the VitalWatch eICU program has resulted in:

23 percent reduction in overall mortality across the four hospitals as a whole;

49 percent reduction in ICU length of stay; and

35 percent reduction in lengths of stay throughout the four hospitals [1].

VitalWatch monitors more than 10,000 patients each year. Annually, this vigilance has resulted in 48,000 interventions by eICU intensivists and registered nurses. Additionally, these teams have conducted more than 370,000 telemedicine assessments and managed 62,000 calls from bedside teams seeking to collaborate on patient care.

“As patient needs in the ICU become more complex and the clinician shortage continues to affect this department, providing proactive care and spotting deterioration in these patients is becoming more challenging for caregivers – particularly since patient conditions can change so rapidly,” said Carla Kriwet, Chief Business Leader of Connected Care at Royal Philips. “Philips is committed to helping deliver meaningful outcomes for health systems and patients, and this long-term collaboration with Health First represents how partnering around innovation can drive the desired longitudinal results.”

“Health First is proud of the exceptional outcomes that have occurred between our clinicians and VitalWatch to improve care for our critical care patients,” said Jeffrey Stalnaker, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Physician Executive, Health First. “This partnership has evolved how healthcare is delivered in our hospitals. Not only does this technology allow us to provide exceptional care, it gives added comfort to the families who know there is always a compassionate and dedicated healthcare professional continually watching over their loved ones.”

Health First initially implemented the eICU to address the growing shortage of intensivists and has since expanded the program to help drive care standardization and minimize unwarranted care variation across patients and hospitals. By leveraging the continuous advancements of Philips eCareManager – including platform infrastructure and clinical performance applications – the organization has also scaled services beyond the ICU through the introduction of a Clinical Operations Center. The Clinical Operations Center drives centralized care with real-time, actionable analytics and proactive recommendations to enable patient progression based on their clinical condition, and to help ensure that patients are transitioned to the most appropriate care setting.

Philips is the global leader in centralized tele-critical care. More than 20% of US adult ICU beds and 1 in 8 adult ICU patients are monitored by a 24/7 continuous demand model powered by the Philips eICU Program, which combines A/V technology, predictive analytics, data visualization and advanced reporting capabilities [2, 3]. The core of this program is Philips eCareManager software, which delivers need-to-know information to caregivers, empowering them to care for the patients in a more proactive manner.

As part of its commitment to continuously evolve to meet the needs of a changing healthcare marketplace, Philips recently announced an eCareManager platform extension with the launch of Sentry Score, a predictive algorithm for the adult intensive care unit (ICU) that shows a patient’s probability of receiving an intervention within 60 minutes [4]. Philips tele-critical care platforms are available around the globe with clinical informatics applications supporting bedside, unit and virtual delivery models.

Source: Company Press Release