FREEPORT (WIFR) -- FHN and UW e-Care in Madison marked three successful years of partnership on FHN’s eICU in August.
FHN’s eICU unit is a collaboration between the Intensive Care Unit at FHN Memorial Hospital and UW Health e-Care of Wisconsin’s team of intensivist physicians and critical care nurses. FHN was the first rural hospital serving northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin with a program like eICU, which provides an additional level of care to ICU patients. UW e-Care is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year.
“Through our partnership with e-Care, FHN has been able to care for patients who in the past may have had to be transferred to a hospital in Rockford or Madison for monitoring by specialists in critical care medicine,” said FHN VP of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Cutler. “Keeping these patients close to home is much less stressful for both the patient and their loved ones.”
Small microphones and cameras in each ICU patient room provide a constant link to the e-Care team in Madison, which includes some of the nation’s most respected intensivists (physician specialists in critical care medicine). Each ICU patient’s vital information (heart rate, blood pressure, medications and test results) are monitored in the FHN ICU and shared in real time with the e-Care team.
If a patient’s condition changes rapidly or unexpectedly and requires a medical response, the FHN physicians and nurses at the patient’s bedside can touch a button and activate a two-way visual and audio link for consultation with e-Care specialists.
The cameras and microphones can capture the smallest details for the e-Care specialists, from slight changes in the patient’s skin color to monitor readings across the room. The patient and his or her caregivers can also see and hear the critical care nurse or physician on the other end of the link, so they are consulting with a person who is visible on-screen. The e-Care team members also are identified by name and credential on-screen.