Sentara Healthcare's tele-ICU program a success story

The tele-intensive care unit at Sentara Healthcare creates efficiency at a time when the need for more physicians in the U.S. is high.

According to an article in Becker's Health IT and CIO Review, the program at the Norfolk, Virginia-based organization was the first of its kind in the country.

Sentara has worked over the years to convince intensivists to be part of the care of a greater number of patients through its tele-ICU project; now the technology not only allows more of them to be involved in care, but it also helps with prioritization and triaging patient needs, Steven Fuhrman, M.D., Medical Director of Sentara's eICU, says in the article.

"There's efficiency in the tele-ICU space that is not afforded at the bedside," he adds. "We can address the issues in individual patients based on need."

When the program began 15 years ago, it initially was difficult to get clinicians on board, according to the article. However, now it is widely accepted, and Sentara is working, though not without hurdles, to expand the program's reach.

Many patients, especially those in rural areas, are embracing telemedicine for specialty care, according to a recent research report.

Other health facilities--including Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Dignity Health Woodland Memorial Hospital in California--also are seeing success with their tele-ICU programs.

To learn more:
- read the Becker's article