Intensive care unit telemedicine: review and consensus recommendations

Joseph Cummings, Cathleen Krsek, Kathy Vermoch, Karl Matuszewski
American Journal of Medical Quality: the Official Journal of the American College of Medical Quality 2007, 22 (4): 239-50
Intensive care unit telemedicine involves nurses and physicians located at a remote command center providing care to patients in multiple, scattered intensive care units via computer and telecommunication technology. The command center is equipped with a workstation that has multiple monitors displaying real-time patient vital signs, a complete electronic medical record, a clinical decision support tool, a high-resolution radiographic image viewer, and teleconferencing for every patient and intensive care unit room. In addition to communication functions, the video system can be used to view parameters on ventilator screens, infusion pumps, and other bedside equipment, as well as to visually assess patient conditions. The intensivist can conduct virtual rounds, communicate with on-site caregivers, and be alerted to important patient conditions automatically via software-monitored parameters. This article reviews the technology's background, status, significance, clinical literature, financial effect, implementation issues, and future developments. Recommendations from a University HealthSystem Consortium task force are also presented.

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