Telehealth Primer: TeleICU

Intensive care units (ICUs) account for a substantial portion of increasing health care costs and poor clinical outcomes, contributing to as much as 30% of total hospital costs. TeleICU programs complement care available to critically ill patients by virtually employing off-site clinical resources, most commonly critical care nurses or intensivists, who are connected by audiovisual and/or telecommunication systems.

What are the emerging trends driving adoption of teleICUs?

The growth of teleICU programs has trended upward in the past decade. In fact, it is estimated that approximately 10% of hospitals in the United States use teleICU programs to supplement traditional intensive care methods. There are three key factors that drive these rising numbers: provider shortages, increased ICU utilization, and an aging population.

The primer details this growing application of telehealth technologies for patients in intensive care units, along with some of the common challenges program planners encounter in putting teleICUs in place.

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