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New ICU Patient Service at CRMC

Web posted February 11, 2014
A second set of eyes for best practice interventions is now available to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center (CRMC) patients in Crosby. Additional specially trained physicians and nurses are providing support 24 hours daily to Cuyuna providers for adult patients age 15 and older through Avera’s eICU® CARE program.

eICU CARE acts like an air traffic control room. From an operations center on the Avera McKennan Hospital Campus in Sioux Falls, S.D., intensivists who specialize in caring for critically ill patients and critical care nurses constantly monitor patient conditions at sites such as CRMC through several computers and powerful, real-time cameras.

Information such as patients’ vital signs, medications, X-rays and test results are sent to the operations center via secure, high-speed data lines. Computers continuously analyze the information, helping the intensivists recognize changes in patient conditions. This allows for early intervention through coordination with CRMC ICU physicians and nurses before significant problems arise.

For patients with certain diagnoses, eICU CARE also helps alleviate the financial, physical and emotional burden that transferring to larger cities to receive advance care can create.

“Transferring to another facility can be stressful and expensive for patients,” CRMC’s Chief Nursing Officer Renee Steffen said. “eICU CARE makes it possible for them to continue to receive top-quality care in their hometown where they’re surrounded by family and friends.”

The eICU work stations have a high resolution camera to view patients and access to CRMC’s electronic medical record, cardiac monitor, and radiology images. The new service is available through mobile carts in all six of CRMC’s Intensive Care Unit patient rooms as well as all of the Medical/Surgical Unit patient rooms.

Cuyuna physicians remain in charge of patients, see them daily, and plan their care. eICU physicians are available for questions or discussions regarding patient care, are able to provide additional orders to address specific concerns, look for negative trends in patient conditions and promptly discuss those with Cuyuna physicians.

Cuyuna pays a monthly fee to cover the service so there is no additional patient billing from eICU physicians. CRMC is one of 31 facilities in six states using eICU including the following in Minnesota: Hutchinson, Marshall, Pipestone, and Tyler.

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