The UMass Memorial Health Care system offers an extra level of care through the eICU® Program to patients admitted to intensive care units across our system, including UMass Memorial Medical Center and community hospitals HealthAlliance Hospital, Marlborough Hospital, and Wing Memorial Hospital, and affiliated hospital Harrington Hospital. (Read related Boston Globe article).
The eICU program's specially trained critical care physicians known as intensivists use voice, data and video technology to enhance the patient care provided by the ICU bedside staff. This attention to detail helps identify a potential concern in a patient's condition in the early stages, allowing ICU staff to intervene with prompt treatment before conditions worsen.
From the eICU Support Center located at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, the intensivist team has access to computer terminals displaying all ICU patients' vital signs such as blood pressure, oxygen saturation and heart rate. Other patient information readily available to intensivists includes the approved care plan, physician notes, current medications, x-rays and recent test results.
Because even the slightest change in a patient's condition could lead to a potential health problem, any sudden alert is instantly sent over the eICU Program's high-speed data lines, notifying the intensivist to closely examine the situation. The intensivist can then activate a video camera at the bedside to visually check the patient's condition.
A soft chime and a green light displayed at the patient's ICU bedside indicate that one of the eICU monitoring cameras is being activated. The ICU nurse, now at the patient's bedside, evaluates the sudden change in medical status by providing the intensivist with a verbal assessment. The intensivist can now communicate with both the patient and the ICU bedside caregiver to better determine the cause of the sudden change in health status.