Hutchinson Regional Medical Center turned to pulmonology telemedicine to support its 18-bed ICU and 23-bed pulmonary care unit. This not-for-profit, 199-bed medical facility serves the health needs of more than 65,000 residents in Hutchinson and the surrounding area in rural central Kansas.
When physicians in rural hospitals retire or move, replacing them can be a big challenge. That was the case with Hutchinson Regional. The facility is unique in that it has an 18-bed ICU as well as a dedicated, 23-bed pulmonary care unit. Because the pulmonologists staffing the unit would often manage ICU care, their departure had an impact. There was a risk the hospital would need to need to transfer patients to hospitals in Wichita and other distant referral centers.
After going live in 2018, Eagle’s Tele-ICU program provided the ongoing coverage the hospital needed. The pulmonology telemedicine physicians staffing the program are intensivists with a specialty in pulmonology, they helped Hutchinson Regional continue consistent inpatient treatment for patients in the pulmonology unit. They also share responsibilities in the ICU with other providers skilled in management of patients with intensive care needs.