Tift Regional Medical Center is celebrating its first anniversary of providing the most advanced critical care system available in the intensive care unit today.
TRMC began using Advanced ICU Care in 2011 which offers a telemonitoring program that allows an additional off-site team to monitor ICU patients as a back-up to the TRMC staff and physicians.
“Our patients and community are among the first in the nation to benefit from the highest quality of care and patient safety available in hospital intensive care units today,” said Dr. Bill Guest, Chief Quality Officer at TRMC. “Through our partnership with Advanced ICU Care, our patients receive 24/7 monitoring support from critical care, board-certified physicians with telemedicine technology and rigorous focus on best practices.”
Remote care tools, such as real-time video feeds, allows the bedside staff and Advanced ICU Care remote physicians and nurses to work as one team in caring for patients. Around-the-clock monitoring of patient data – such as vital signs, medications and lab results – along with technology that identifies early warning signs of downward trends, allows physicians to intervene earlier to prevent complications.
The system is designed to make ICUs more efficient while providing excellent patient care. After one year using the system, Tift Regional has seen very positive results.
The year before we implemented Advanced ICU Care, we took care of about 1,200 patients and our ICU was on diversion 65 times meaning we couldn’t take in any more patients,” Dr. Guest said. “In the first year with the system, we saw more than 1,300 patients. This patient volume increase as well as no diversions was a result of teamwork between our physicians and nurses, eICU and our Affinity Hospital Medicine physicians.”
“It’s been very comforting to patients to know that their vital signs are always being monitored. Their families are relieved when they find out that this extra layer of care exists, and they welcome the addition of an added care team,” said Cheryl Sumner, RN, nurse manager of the ICU.
Each patient’s local primary physician still leads the healthcare team. And even though the Advanced ICU Care team does its monitoring from another location, all of its physicians are active, credentialed members of the TRMC medical staff.
“Our team approach with Tift Regional continuously improves patient care and clinical outcomes, driving the use of evidence-based best practices so that common complications are avoided and patients receive immediate intervention as their condition changes,” said Mary Jo Gorman, M.D., MBA, chief executive officer of Advanced ICU Care. “Through this collaborative process, we achieve a new level of performance and patient care.”
“What has been most satisfying for our hospital over the past year has been the partnership between our critical care staff and Advanced ICU Care intensivists. Our physicians, nurses and administration have been able to see the benefits of the program,” said Dr. Rubal Patel, intensivist at TRMC.
TRMC’s latest ICU was built in 2007. With 20 beds and more than 37,500 square feet, the state-of-the-art facility is equipped with the latest telemetry monitoring equipment and critical care technology. Each ICU patient room even includes sleeping space for one family member. There is also a large waiting area complete with a quiet room.
Advanced ICU Care offers comprehensive tele-ICU programs and consulting services, with a proven track record of improving the clinical, financial and operational performance of its hospital partners. As the nation’s largest independent tele-ICU provider, Advanced ICU Care has successfully implemented and managed more programs than any other organization.