eICU system interoperability enables independent hospitals to share critical care resources

Baltimore 08 June 2005The eICU solution, created by VISICU Inc., will be integrated later this year across three independent Wisconsin hospital systems. A new partnership, Critical Care Solutions LLC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, joins Froedtert & Community Health, ThedaCare and Bellin Health to facilitate the provision of critical care benefits to their intensive care unit (ICU) patients. The interoperability of the VISICU eICU system is the key to functionality across multiple hospitals where each uses a different HIS/CIS platform.

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"That three separate and autonomous health care systems have come together to leverage technology to improve outcomes, reduce costs, adopt standard care processes, and develop common clinical protocols in five distinct hospitals separated by hundreds of miles, is remarkable in and of itself in the increasingly competitive world of health care. It is a first here in Wisconsin and, as far as we know, the entire nation", stated John Toussaint, MD, president and CEO of ThedaCare.

Patented eICU technology uses proprietary early warning software and remote monitoring to provide off-site intensivists and critical care nurses with the data needed to pro-actively care for ICU patients. eICU technology is available only through VISICU and enables hospitals to meet stringent patient care safety standards and assures fundamental changes in hospital ICU care. The eICU solution allows hospitals to leverage intensivist resources to care for an even larger number of patients simultaneously.

The initial installation at the Wisconsin hospitals will consist of 72 ICU beds in three cities: Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee, Appleton Medical Center in Appleton, and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. This will be followed by 57 more for a total of 129 eICU monitored beds by early next year that will include Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls and Bellin Hospital in Green Bay.

"This partnership means that board-certified intensive care specialists will be available to every single ICU patient at all of the respective hospitals in this group. All of the studies suggest that the combined expertise of the intensivist and attending physician will result in significant improvements in outcomes for our patients", stated William D. Petasnick, president and CEO of Froedtert & Community Health.

"The unique implementation model established by Critical Care Solutions is a creative way for independent and loosely affiliated hospitals to build a co-operative in order to make eICU care a reality for their patients", stated Frank T. Sample, VISICU Chairman and CEO. "VISICU applauds their insight for developing this technique that can be duplicated in similar situations around the country."

Froedtert & Community Health is a regional hospital system formed in 2001 by Froedtert Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital. Joining the capabilities of a 196-bed community hospital and a 434-bed academic medical centre, Froedtert & Community Health delivers nationally recognized, cost-effective health care treatment and technologies from two hospitals and multiple clinic and program sites in Southeastern Wisconsin. In 2004, adult patient admissions for Froedtert & Community Health exceeded 31.000.

ThedaCare is a community health system consisting of three hospitals, Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center and New London Family Medical Center, ThedaCare Physicians, ThedaCare Behavioral Health, a home care and senior services division and other health care services. Joint ventures include the Fox Cities Community Health Center, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Appleton Heart Institute. ThedaCare is the largest employer in Northeast Wisconsin with 5000 employees.

Bellin Health is an integrated health care delivery system comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Centers and Bellin Health Family Medical Centers, 16 primary physician clinics located throughout Northeast Wisconsin; and Bellin College of Nursing. Bellin Health is known for its emphasis on preventive health care and is the region's leader in heart, orthopaedics, digestive health, mental health and primary care medicine.

VISICU Inc. is a privately held company founded in 1998 by two intensivists from Johns Hopkins. A study of the patented eICU system published in Critical Care Medicine (Crit Care Med 2004; 30:31-38) proved the clinical and financial benefits and is currently the only technology that enables hospitals to meet The Leapfrog Group's ICU patient care safety standards.

In 2005, VISICU was recognized as the Patient Monitoring Company of the Year by Frost & Sullivan. VISICU also received the Microsoft Healthcare Award, the American Telemedicine Association Innovations Award and TETHIC "Technology of the Year" Award in 2004. In 2002, the eICU solution was recognized as one of the Top 100 technical innovations by InfoWorld magazine, and in 2001, VISICU won the Healthcare Informatics and Technology Award. More news about VISICU is available in the VMW November 2004 article Visicu's innovative life saving eICU solution awarded United States patent.


Leslie Versweyveld

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