Virtual ICU Benefits Both Staff and Patients

Carolinas HealthCare System monitors ICUs in 10 of its hospitals from a command center near Charlotte. The command center is staffed 24/7 with a rotating crew of 7 to 9 nurses and doctors who specialize in critical care.

Recovering from pneumonia is an unusual experience in the 10-bed intensive care unit (ICU) at the Carolinas HealthCare System hospital in rural Lincolnton, North Carolina. The small hospital has its regular staff in Lincolnton, but Richard Gilbert, one of the ICU patients, has an extra nurse who is 45 miles away.

That registered nurse, Cassie Gregor, sits in front of 6 computer screens in an office building. She wears a headset, and her voice is piped into Gilbert’s room via computer speakers. A doorbell sounds before the camera turns on, alerting Gilbert that the nurse is looking in. They chit-chat as Gregor monitors Gilbert’s vital signs. The nurse asks how he’s feeling and if there’s anything he needs.

Carolinas HealthCare System monitors ICUs in 10 of its hospitals from this command center near Charlotte. The command center is staffed 24/7 with a rotating crew of 7 to 9 nurses and doctors who specialize in critical care. Everyone on the team also does bedside shifts.

Read more at Kaiser Health News: http://bit.ly/1zVMz9Q