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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Tele-ICU "myth busters"

Angelo Venditti, Chanda Ronk, Tracey Kopenhaver, Susan Fetterman
AACN Advanced Critical Care 2012, 23 (3): 302-11
22828064
Tele-intensive care unit (ICU) technology has been proven to bridge the gap between available resources and quality care for many health care systems across the country. Tele-ICUs allow the standardization of care and provide a second set of eyes traditionally not available in the ICU. A growing body of literature supports the use of tele-ICUs based on improved outcomes and reduction in errors. To date, the literature has not effectively outlined the limitations of this technology related to response to changes in patient care, interventions, and interaction with the care team. This information can potentially have a profound impact on service expectations. Some misconceptions about tele-ICU technology include the following: tele-ICU is "watching" 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; tele-ICU is a telemetry unit; tele-ICU is a stand-alone crisis intervention tool; tele-ICU decreases staffing at the bedside; tele-ICU clinical roles are clearly defined and understood; and tele-ICUs are not cost-effective to operate. This article outlines the purpose of tele-ICU technology, reviews outcomes, and "busts" myths about tele-ICU technology.

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