Avera Holy Family Hospital is Iowa's first health care facility to offer eICU® patient safety technology.
The state-of-the-art equipment provides patients an extra level of care in the intensive care unit, and many times that means helping to save lives. Avera Holy Family Hospital is the ninth member of the Avera Health system to join the Avera eICU® CARE program. The innovative technology continues to prove its value to patients. In a recent three-month study, the nine Avera eICU CARE facilities contributed to a 30 percent decrease in predicted hospital mortality for ICU patients and reduced predicted ICU length of stay time by 23 percent.
"We're proud to be the first eICU site in Iowa," Avera Holy Family Hospital President Bill Bumgarner said. "Bringing Avera eICU CARE to Avera Holy Family Hospital represents our ongoing commitment to add technology to better serve the citizens of Estherville and surrounding communities."
How Avera eICU CARE Works
Simply described, Avera eICU CARE acts like an air traffic control room. From an operations center on the Avera McKennan Hospital campus in Sioux Falls, S.D., specially trained physicians, or intensivists, who specialize in caring for critically ill patients, and critical care nurses constantly monitor patient conditions at sites such as Avery Holy Family Hospital through several computers and powerful, real-time cameras.
Information such as patients' vital signs, medications, x-rays and test results are sent to the operations center via secure, high-speed data lines. Computers continuously analyze the information, helping the intensivists recognize changes in patient conditions. This allows for early intervention through coordination with Avera Holy Family Hospital ICU physicians and nurses before significant problems arise.
"Avera eICU CARE helps ensure that our patients receive the best care," Bumgarner said. "Their personal physicians still make the decisions regarding care, but they can't be there at all times. That's when the intensivist's input and assistance is especially valuable."
To learn more, watch the Avera eICU Care video »
Helping Patients And Families
For patients with certain diagnoses, Avera eICU CARE also helps alleviate the financial, physical and emotional burden that transferring to larger cities to receive advanced care can create.
"Transferring to another facility can be stressful and expensive for patients," Program Director Pat Herr said. "Avera eICU CARE makes it possible for them to continue to receive top-quality care in their hometown where they're surrounded by family and friends."
Some of the improvements Avera eICU CARE allows for include:
- Avera eICU CARE staff can quickly assist on-site critical care staff with changes in patient conditions.
- Innovative software evaluates patient data for important trends, helping staff to react to patient condition changes.
- While the on-site physician is still in charge of ICU patient care, Avera eICU CARE provides an additional level of support to significantly improve patient safety.
- Innovative technology improves physician workflow and communication with other critical care staff.