Meadows Regional Medical Center identified a need for ICU telehealth to improve the hospital’s coverage and Leapfrog grade. This 57-be hospital with an 8-bed ICU in Vidalia, Georgia was frequently transferring patients to tertiary facilities in Savannah and Macon—90 miles away—or Augusta—100 miles away.
ICU patient acuity at the rural hospital had steadily increased. More patients needed ventilators and were staying on them longer. In addition, high utilization over flu season often resulted in as many as 5-6 patients on ventilators in the ICU; the average had been 1-3.
While two pulmonary intensivists managed care for ventilated patients on weekdays and each covered one weekend per month, two weekends each month were left uncovered. In addition, the lack of coverage had resulted in a disappointing “C” Leapfrog grade: Improving that score was a top priority.
The hospital chose Eagle Telemedicine to provide a core team of ICU telehealth providers to share patient care management with onsite intensivists and hospitalists. The Eagle team covers the night and weekend gaps in ICU staffing, shares patient care management with the onsite team, and is available to assist with patient diagnosis and treatment via a cart with a videoconferencing monitor.
BENEFITS & OUTCOMES
“A” Leapfrog Safety Grade, Up from “C” the Previous Year
Total Ventilator Days Up from 44.3 to 49.6
ICU ALOS Down from 4.7 to 4.5