Nurses: Tele-ICU tools improve performance, communication

Tele-intensive care tools help nurses to conduct tasks more quickly, and improve performance and communication, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Critical Care (AJCC).

Telemedicine use for specialty care is growing, and 75 percent of the 1,213 nurses who responded to the survey said that using such tools in the ICU helped improve care overall.

"The majority of participants thought that tele-ICUs enhanced patient care, improved productivity and collaboration and made their job easier," lead study author Ruth Kleinpell, RN, Ph.D., director of the Center for Clinical Research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, said in an announcement.

About 63 percent of the nurses surveyed said that tele-intensive care makes completing tasks faster, and about 60 percent said it's useful in nursing assessments. About 45 percent said it provides more time for patient care.

Barriers remain, however, which according to the report include IT problems, staff attitudes and employees seeing telemedicine as an "interference."

"The findings can be used to further inform the development of competencies for tele-intensive care nursing, match the tele-intensive care nursing practice guidelines of the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, and highlight concepts related to the association's standards for establishing and sustaining healthy work environments," the report's authors said.

Fifteen years into the program, Sentara Healthcare is seeing many benefits from its tele-intensive care unit, FierceHealthIT previously reported. The program at the Norfolk, Virginia-based organization was the first of its kind in the country and allows for efficiency in the tele-ICU space that is not afforded at the bedside.

To learn more:
- here's the study
- read the announcement