NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Uses New Technology To Enhance Patient Care in Intensive Care Units

First Academic Medical Center To Use eICU® Technology To Improve Care, Lower Cost, and Reduce Medical Errors

Mar 13, 2003

New York, NY

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital announced today the launch of a next-generation intensive care unit (ICU) system, which will provide patients with an additional level of intensive care. The new system, called an eICU®, uses advanced software and video technology to monitor patients remotely. Experienced intensive care physicians and critical care nurses oversee the care of ICU patients 24-hours a day, seven days a week, from a high-tech centralized command center that allows for early detection and proactive intervention.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the first academic medical center in the country to establish this system. It will benefit cardiothoracic and surgical ICU patients at the Hospital's two main sites, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and NewYork Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Herbert Pardes, M.D., president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Healthcare System said, This upgrade will provide the best, most timely care to those with the most critical need. Through our partnership with the private and public sectors who develop and support the use of information technology in medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian is able to provide the highest quality patient care available.

NewYork-Presbyterian teamed with VISICU, Inc., of Baltimore, Maryland, creator of the eICU® solution, to install the system, which was developed to enable hospitals to standardize intensive care despite the shortage of critical care specialists and the growing population of critically ill patients. Physicians and nurses in the eICU® command center monitor patient vital signs, ventilators and intravenous pumps, as well as lab results and current prescriptions, patient history, treatments, and chart notes. The eICU® technology employs an alert system, which uses sophisticated software algorithms to analyze patient data, making possible quick response when physiological markers indicate that a critical event is in the making.

Video and audio links enable the command center staff to monitor the patient and talk with caregivers, using a video camera and speakers mounted in each ICU room. The video camera is controlled with a computer mouse and can zoom in on a patient to perform detailed examinations or to view an instrument screen in detail. This vigilant care ensures that urgent situations are addressed proactively, and the patient has an additional specialist doctor to help make prompt decisions.

Currently, 48 ICU and step-down beds at NewYork-Presbyterian's Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center are part of the new system, with NewYork-Presbyterian's Weill Cornell Medical Center to be added by June, said Michael A. Berman, M.D., executive vice-president and hospital director of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Eventually, the eICU® system will be made available throughout the 30-hospital NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System.

Research confirms benefits of the eICU® system. A study of remote ICU care at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine by the VISICU physician co-founders showed that risk-adjusted hospital mortality for ICU patients fell by 30 percent and complications decreased by 40 percent.

The eICU® system also has been shown to reduce medical errors and lower costs. A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that more efficient use of ICU caregivers could sharply reduce the number of annual deaths in U.S. intensive-care units by 500,000 and help cut the $1.8-billion cost of intensive care. Cost reductions are made possible by fewer complications and shorter hospital stays.

Catching trends early, and addressing them quickly, is vital in critical-care medicine, says Hal Wasserman, M.D., medical director of the eICU® facility at Columbia University Medical Center. Clinical deterioration caused by serious infection, internal bleeding or respiratory failure, are often preceded by subtle alterations of blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygenation. When such basic indicators drift toward the abnormal, they may be signaling a dangerous new direction in a patient's clinical course. The new system will help make early detection and intervention possible. It adds an additional complementary level of monitoring and care to our ICU and step-down patients.

Frank T. Sample, president and CEO of VISICU, Inc. adds, We are proud to partner with New York-Presbyterian and to provide the most advanced technology available to help this world-class organization enhance its care.2452712pubjvb9001&&20:27-11- 4-2004jvb900114:37- 8- 3-200403_13_03