Experts from UC Davis Medical Center to partner in VISICU's virtual intensive care unit

Baltimore 05 June 2001VISICU, a provider of remote care services for intensive care unit (ICU) patients, has created the Sacramento Valley Critical Care Network in collaboration with UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, California. The company will implement its Continuous Expert Care Network (CXCN) using intensivists from UC Davis Medical Center to lead a care team in operating a "virtual ICU" which will monitor ICU patients from participating hospitals throughout the region, including UC Davis' own Medical Intensive Care Unit.

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VISICU's CXCN is a unique telemedicine solution that improves ICU patient outcomes dramatically and helps reduce the cost of ICU care through a powerful combination of technology and services. The "virtual ICU" or eICU will be located in the Sacramento area and will be staffed by experienced intensivists and seasoned critical care nurses to provide around-the-clock (24x7) care and monitoring of ICU patients at the participating hospitals throughout the Sacramento Valley.

Telemedicine, video conferencing, and integrated clinical information system technologies provide the tools that allow clinicians in the remote eICU to be in direct voice and video communication at any time with the staff at the participating hospitals. Detailed patient information is made available to the clinicians at the eICU in order to facilitate effective and pro-active care of the ICU patients on an ongoing basis.

"In our view, VISICU's new and innovative application of telemedicine and information system technology combined with expert clinical services will have a profound impact on the management of ICU patients, especially in outlying areas where intensivist resources are scarce", stated Dr. Tom Nesbitt, Assistant Dean for Regional Outreach, Continuing Medical Education and Telehealth at UC Davis Medical Center. "Having the intensivists pro-actively monitor ICU patients around-the-clock and consult with the attending medical staff provides the opportunity to treat patients in their local communities and may eliminate costly patient transfers."

UC Davis Medical Center is one of five University of California teaching hospitals and is located on 140 acres in central Sacramento, adjacent to the State Capitol. Licensed for 528 beds and fully accredited, UC Davis Medical Center is the Region's only Level One comprehensive adult and paediatric trauma centre. UC Davis enjoys an excellent reputation for its expertise in telehealth and runs a Telehealth Learning Center on campus, which trains staff from hospitals across the country in the benefits and deployment of telemedicine programmes.

"We are honoured to have the opportunity to collaborate with one of the nation's leading medical centres whose demonstrated expertise and reputation in the field of telehealth will be a valuable asset in bringing our unique CXCN programme to hospitals across the Sacramento Valley", stated Harry Comerchero, VISICU's Vice President of Sales. "Not only will UC Davis Medical Center make a splendid strategic partner in promoting the CXCN programme in that region, but they have also acknowledged the unique value of the programme by having their own Medical Intensive Care Unit participate in the programme as well."

VISICU is a venture-backed company founded in 1998 by two intensivists from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland with over 20 years experience in adult critical care. VISICU's CXCN programme addresses the timely issues being raised concerning the effects of increasing medical errors, patient safety, and escalating health care costs, as highlighted by the recent Institute of Medicine reports and recommendations of the LeapFrog Group. VISICU's mission is to forge a novel standard for critical care delivery by combining advanced technologies and comprehensive clinical services into a powerful programme which enables health care organisations to save lives, improve outcomes, and reduce cost.


Leslie Versweyveld

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