Visicu life saving ICU technology to be offered throughout Inova's northern Virginia and Avera's Dakota Hospitals

Baltimore 15 March 2004Inova Health System, a four hospital system headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, will be the first health system in the Washington DC metropolitan area to offer its critical care patients Visicu's eICU technology. In addition, Avera Health, headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has purchased the same eICU solution and plans to bring the life saving technology to ICU facilities throughout its five-state region.

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The Inova-Visicu contract reflects the commitment of Inova Health System to improve patient safety and provide the highest quality care to their patients and the region. The eICU solution uses high fidelity telemedicine, early warning software and electronic monitoring to connect and provide off-site critical care physicians and nurses with the information needed to pro-actively care for ICU patients. The around-the-clock advanced technology enables Leapfrog ICU patient safety compliance and promises fundamental changes in hospital ICU care. The plan is to initially connect all Inova acute care hospital ICUs to the eICU centre.

J. Knox Singleton, president and chief executive officer of Inova Health stated: "The eICU solution complements the power that an integrated health system can deliver and offers a synergistic way to extend our ICU care expertise throughout our health system and region." Mr. Singleton added: "We're proud to be on the forefront of the high-tech support systems and part of the future of health care."

"Inova Health System has established a deep and ongoing commitment to quality and Visicu has established a unique way to improve critical care quality", stated Nanci Little-Gosnell, Inova's chief information officer and vice president of information technology. Ms. Gosnell continued: "The eICU solution will enable us to provide our critical care patients with the very best technology available for patient safety."

The Avera-Visicu contract initially calls for linking 50 ICU beds from four regional facilities to a new eICU facility located on the campus of Avera McKennan Hospital and University Health Center in Sioux Falls. The regional sites are Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell, South Dakota; Avera St. Luke's in Aberdeen, South Dakota and Avera Sacred Heart in Yankton, South Dakota. The health system will also look into opportunities to partner with other facilities for eICU care.

Future roll-outs will enable eICU care to be provided at other locations throughout the Avera Health system, casting a virtual ICU safety net for the entire region. eICU care provides the only technology available that enables health care organisations to achieve the Leapfrog Group's ICU safety goal of having intensivists available all day, every day for ICU patients.

Avera Health is a regional network comprised of more than 100 health care facilities and 34 hospitals in South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and North Dakota. The eICU solution transforms ICU care using telemedicine technology, early warning software and electronic monitoring to connect off-site critical care physician specialists, known as intensivists, and critical care nurses to ICU patients.

Dr. David Kapaska, Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Avera McKennan, is pleased that Avera Health is leading the way in offering eICU care in the region and expects it to further enhance the quality of care throughout the health system. Dr. Kapaska stated: "We are genuinely excited about this initiative. Avera Health facilities are already known for their high quality of care, and we fully expect that the eICU solution will help us enhance that care at Avera Health facilities by reducing complications and mortality rates and by enabling shorter hospital stays for our sickest patients."

Frank T. Sample, president and CEO of Visicu, is extremely pleased to partner with Inova and Avera Health and to bring eICU care throughout northern Virginia and Washington DC and to more rural parts of the country. "Avera Health is a premier organisation, and we are pleased they will be the catalyst for bringing life saving eICU care to people in the Dakotas region."

Visicu Inc., a privately held company founded in 1998 by two intensivist physicians, is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The eICU solution enables hospitals to standardize ICU care across multiple hospitals and leverage scarce intensivist resources. From a centralized eICU facility, intensivists and nurses monitor and care for ICU patients through a high-fidelity telemedicine network that has been likened to air traffic control. Proprietary software is used to pro-actively manage patient care and electronically connect the "patient to the doctor", 24 x 7.

A study of the eICU system published in the Journal of Critical Care Medicine (2004; 30:31-38) proved the clinical and financial benefits. The eICU solution is currently the only technology that enables hospitals to meet the Leapfrog Group's ICU patient care safety standards and is continually recognized for its technology innovations. In 2004 VISICU won the Microsoft MS-HUG award for Acute Care Clinical Information system, in 2002 the eICU solution was recognized as one of the Top 100 technical innovations by InfoWorld magazine and in 2001 the company received the Healthcare Informatics and Technology Award. More news on Visicu is available in the VMW March 2004 article Swedish Medical Center is first to offer eICU care in the Northwest of the United States.


Leslie Versweyveld

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