Critically ill patients at Baptist Health Corbin will be among the first in the state to benefit from a state-of-the-art program that allows doctors and nurses from across the nation to partner with local physicians to enhance patient care.
During a special reception Tuesday afternoon, hospital officials unveiled the new Tele-ICU service — installed in partnership with Advanced ICU Care, the nation’s largest provider of Tele-ICU specialists.
“This has been a full-court press kind of project,” said Larry Gray, President of Baptist Health Corbin. “I just want to say how grateful I am for our system wide IT folks for the work they did leading the way on this project. It was, obviously, very intensive work.”
Each of the hospital’s 10 critical care unit rooms are now equipped with an advanced monitor, high-resolution camera, microphone and sound system. The equipment allows “highly trained intensivist physicians and critical care specialists” to ability to provide an extra layer of care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Dr. Sandeep Sharma, a physician at Baptist Health Corbin, said the system is beneficial because if a doctor is having to deal with issues related to one patient, and another begins having serious medical issues, the system can immediately allow a doctor and nurses, remotely, to help local staff handle the situation.
Dr. Dave Worthy, Chief Medical Officer at Baptist Health Corbin, said the system has been shown through studies to decrease hospital stays by a full day, and decrease mortality by about 22 percent.
“That is really hard to get in medicine … to see a one-fifth cut in mortality,” he said. “This is going to raise the game across the board.”
Advanced ICU Care’s team of doctors and critical care nurses work from centralized operation centers around-the-clock complementing care with Baptist Health physicians.
The program continuously monitors patient vital signs, medications, labs and the patient’s clinical status. Proactive data management tools identify problems before they become urgent, prompting immediate intervention when necessary. In-room video is utilized during periods of evaluation or when called on by the nurse.
Gray said the hospital is the first in the Baptist Health system to have such capability.
“We are very proud to be on the cutting edge,” he said.
He added that the hospital has plans to expand its number of ICU/CCU beds and will likewise install the system in those rooms as well.