Majority of Nurses Believe Telemedicine Can Improve ICU Care

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A majority of tele-ICU nurses believe that telemedicine provides an opportunity to improve patient care in ICUs.
A majority of tele-ICU nurses believe that telemedicine provides an opportunity to improve patient care in ICUs.

A majority of tele-ICU nurses believe that telemedicine provides an opportunity to improve patient care in ICUs, according to research published in the American Journal of Critical Care.

Ruth Kleinpell, RN, PhD, APRN-BC, CCRN, director of the Center for Clinical Research at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues surveyed 1213 nurses on their opinions of telemedicine and what its priority areas should be. Three-quarters of the nurses were hospital-based bedside nurses who interfaced with a tele-ICU, 13% worked in a remote tele-ICU location, and approximately 10% worked in both capacities.

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In phase 1 of the study, the researchers conducted an online survey of the 1213 nurses and found that most of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with the following: that using tele-intensive care enables them to accomplish tasks more quickly (63%), that it improves collaboration (65.9%), that it improves job performance (63.6%), that it improves communication (60.4%), that it is useful in nursing assessments (60%), and that it improves care by providing more time for patient care (45.6%).

More than 75% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that tele-ICU systems are useful in their jobs and offer an opportunity to improve patient care.

The participants cited several specific benefits to using tele-ICU systems, including the ability to monitor trends in vital signs, detect unstable physiological status, provide medical management, enhance patient safety, detect arrhythmias, prevent self-extubation, and prevent falls.

"Tele-ICUs improve patient care by providing an enhanced monitoring capability to detect potential patient compromise earlier, and to help promote collaborative care by using telehealth nursing and physician staff and on-site clinical staff to collectively manage patient care issues, as well as to enhance communications with patients and family members," Dr Kleinpell told Clinical Pain Advisor.

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