Article   |   January 07, 2019   |   National Institutes of Health

New Study Identifies Organizational Factors Key to ICU Telemedicine Impact

Researchers Define Three Key Organizational Factors to Predict ICU Telemedicine Efficacy

MD talking to tele-nurse

In a first-of-its-kind effort to understand what drives positive clinical differences across various tele-ICU environments, a research team led by Dr. Jeremy M. Kahn of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine produced a study entitled, “Determinants of Intensive Care Unit Telemedicine Effectiveness: An Ethnographic Study.”

The researchers measured differences in risk-adjusted mortality to assess clinical success. Following an evaluation of 10 ICU telemedicine programs through site visits, interviews, and focus groups – both in the facilities providing remote care and the target ICUs – the study found that three organizational factors primarily drove positive differences in unit performance:

  • Leadership: How organizational managers (ICU, Tele-ICU, and hospital system) make decisions about the role and reach of telemedicine
  • Perceived Value: Expectations among front-line care providers related to the ability of telemedicine to meaningfully improve clinical outcomes (including expectations of availability, understanding of operations, interpersonal relationships, and staff satisfaction)
  • Organizational Design: Features of the hospital/tele-ICU partnership that govern how care is delivered (such as staffing models and engagement protocols).

The study’s findings are consistent with Advanced ICU Care’s 13-plus years of experience partnering with hospitals across the US to deliver tele-ICU care. The report reinforces the need to emphasize organizational readiness and change management, which are cornerstones of our implementation methodology that has been honed over the course of more than 75 tele-ICU launches.  Further, this analysis highlights the importance of treating the tele-ICU and in-hospital providers as members of a single, integrated care team, rather than disparate participants in a vendor-customer relationship.

More information about the study can be accessed through this link here.

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