You have to give them credit for trying and there are larger hospital systems that do say the system is working but once again, nobody wants to talk about “hospital inequality” and things don’t always work across the boards with Health IT today.  I have written about Banner Hospitals in Arizona using such a system and as far as I have read it is still working well.  Again money and volume of patients here I think have some impact.

“Hospital inequality” - Yet One More Growing Issue With Healthcare In the US..

The article continues on to say they are looking at or have invested in service that will allow imagedoctors and patients to communicate via telemedicine which is always a good thing.  When it comes to telemedicine I think too many see it as a cure all, but it’s not as you still need to have some visits “in person” but for communication in between and minor issues that come up that can be taken care of, it works fine.   Anyway with this investment in Health IT monitoring, the hospital was paying for a system that was more costly than beneficial with Health It and you don’t know going into some investments either until it’s in place and working.  So this system turned out to be additional IT expense as well as employees that was not showing a good return and the system feels their own in house employees can monitor patients just fine.  There are all kinds of local monitoring sensors that can be added as well for a smaller expense as well.  Here’s the other side of the coin. 

Banner Medical Centers in Phoenix Offering Telehealth Monitoring in Intensive Care Unit–iCare System Option

You do reach a point though to where you really have to look and determine what is a needed investment too as software is the easiest thing in the world to over sell as the need to understand how technologies work together should be foremost, otherwise you can buy all kinds of software and Health IT programs that do what they say, but how does it all come together is the key.  BD

The Critical Care Connection service, established in 2008, will cease effective June 20, the hospital announced in a Tuesday news release. Insurers don’t reimburse hospitals for the service, limiting the number of medical centers that could participate and leading to unsustainable costs, according to Dr. James Raczek, EMMC’s chief medical officer and chief operating officer.

Ten hospitals take part in the program. EMMC monitors an average of fewer than three patients a day at the other hospitals throughout the region, the news release states.

EMMC will eliminate 10 full-time positions, two part-time positions, and one pool position as a result of discontinuing the program. The hospital is working with affected employees to find them other positions within EMMC, according to the release.

Under the program, nurses caring for seriously ill patients at outlying hospitals connect remotely with critical care nurses and specialists at EMMC for guidance on treatment options. Rather than replace local medical personnel, “eICUs” or “teleICUs” are designed to give hospital staff, particularly in rural areas, access to doctors and nurses trained in critical care who can monitor patients for signs of trouble and step in through video and audio links before complications become life-threatening.

The Critical Care Connection also monitored EMMC’s own critical care and emergency department patients.

EMMC isn’t the only Maine hospital to drop such a program, citing high costs. In August 2013, Portland-based MaineHealth discontinued a program that remotely linked nine hospital intensive care units to off-site medical specialists.

Since the Critical Care Connection was established, EMMC has developed other regional services, including a telemedicine center that links doctors and patients virtually.


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