JOURNAL ARTICLE

Perceived benefit of a telemedicine consultative service in a highly staffed intensive care unit

Mark C Romig, Asad Latif, Randeep S Gill, Peter J Pronovost, Adam Sapirstein
Journal of Critical Care 2012, 27 (4): 426.e9-16
22421004

PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a nocturnal telemedicine service improves culture, staff satisfaction, and perceptions of quality of care in a highly staffed university critical care system.

METHODS: We conducted an experiment to determine the effect of telemedicine on nursing-staff satisfaction and perceptions of the quality of care in an intensive care unit (ICU). We surveyed ICU nurses using a modified version of a previously validated tool before deployment and after a 2-month experimental program of tele-ICU. Nurses in another, similar ICU within the same hospital academic medical center served as concurrent controls for the survey responses.

RESULTS: Survey responses were measured using a 5-point Likert scale, and results were analyzed using paired t testing. Survey responses of the nurses in the intervention ICU (n = 27) improved significantly after implementation of the tele-ICU program in the relations and communication subscale (2.99 ± 1.13 pre vs 3.27 ± 1.27 post, P < .01), the psychological working conditions and burnout subscale (3.10 ± 1.10 pre vs 3.23 ± 1.11 post, P < .02), and the education subscale (3.52 ± 0.84 pre vs 3.76 ± 0.78 post, P < .03). In contrast, responses in the control ICU (n = 11) declined in the patient care and perceived effectiveness (3.94 ± 0.80 pre vs 3.48 ± 0.86 post, P < .01) and the education (3.95 ± 0.39 pre vs 3.50 ± 0.80 post, P < .05) subscales.

CONCLUSION: Telemedicine has the potential to improve staff satisfaction and communication in highly staffed ICUs.

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