Providence Alaska Medical Center expands critical care access to reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes with remote monitoring technology from Philips VISICU

Anchorage 04 March 2009Providence Alaska Medical Center has implemented a new programme to enhance care of the critically ill in remote communities of Alaska. The eICU Programme, patented by Philips VISICU, combines early warning alerts and remote monitoring technology to connect off-site critical care specialists to ICU patients and their care teams within the medical centre. Providence plans to offer the programme to surrounding hospitals, as a supplement to local care, in order to reduce unnecessary complications, transfers and patient length of stay.

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The new eICU Center, located in Providence's Health Park, is staffed round-the-clock by a multi-disciplinary critical care team. Visual, verbal and data communications connect the eICU specialists with bedside care teams to enhance the level of care that they can provide locally.

The Providence eICU Center serves as a second set of eyes for remote monitoring of patient vital signs, medications, blood test results, X-rays and other data in Providence's Adult Critical Care unit. With the assistance of advanced computer algorithms, the eICU Programme continuously analyses patient conditions and alerts medical staff to potential problems before they occur. Critical care specialists then guide appropriate intervention to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs.

"Implementation of the eICU Programme is one more example of our continuous pursuit of clinical excellence", remarked Dr. Roy Davis, chief medical officer for Providence. "Justice is a core value - equal access for all patients. 'Getting the right patient the right treatment at the right time' is the mantra for critical care. This programme allows us to deliver that level of care right where they are - a significant benefit to the communities in Alaska."

Providence plans to partner with hospitals outside of its network to bring 24x7 specialist support to surrounding communities and their patients - bringing critical care close to home. "Here in Alaska, community and rural hospitals do not have the staffing capabilities to deliver advanced medical care", explained Providence CEO Al Parrish. "With the implementation of the eICU Programme at Providence Alaska Medical Center, this enhanced medical service can now be provided locally to the sickest of patients. We will save additional lives with the eICU."

Frank Sample, CEO of Philips VISICU, sees this as a great stride for telemedicine. "Many telehealth initiatives today focus on improving diagnosis and treatment for chronic care conditions. With telemedicine programmes such as this, medicine and remote monitoring technology converge to protect the critically ill from debilitating and life threatening complications, while providing the health care system with a solution that is proven to expand access, reduce cost, and improve patient outcomes."

Philips VISICU provides health care information technology and clinical solutions focused on transforming the delivery of critical care through its eICU Programme. Through remote monitoring technology and clinical intelligence, experienced critical care resources are leveraged to provide enhanced intensivist coverage and early intervention for safer, more effective patient care. Currently more than 200 hospitals serving more than 250.000 patients annually have partnered with VISICU to implement eICU programmes.

Providence Alaska Medical Center is part of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit network of hospitals, care centres, health plans, physicians, clinics, home health services, affiliated services and educational facilities.

Royal Philips Electronics of The Netherlands is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world expert in health care, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity".

Headquartered in The Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 121.000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of $38 billion in 2008, the company is a market specialist in cardiac care, acute care and home health care, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral health care. More company news can be found in the VMW March 2009 article Philips highlights innovative research in medical imaging, image-guided drugs delivery and critical infectious diseases' care.


Source: Providence Alaska Medical Center

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