When your family member is in the intensive care unit, you want to be sure they receive constant, expert care. The new eICU® Service, now available in all adult critical care rooms at WakeMed Raleigh Campus and Cary Hospital, provides intensive care patients with an extra layer of support in addition to the critical care nurses and physicians at the bedside.
We understand that having a loved one in a WakeMed Critical Care Unit can be stressful. You may wish that a doctor or nurse could sit at the bedside with you and your critically ill loved one 24 hours a day, watching to make sure he or she is OK.
The WakeMed eICU Service is designed to enhance the safe, high-quality care we already provide and to ease some of your worry in the process.
What is the ICU Service?
Critically ill patients are cared for at the bedside by intensivists (physicians who specialize in critical care) and specially trained critical care nurses.
At WakeMed, critically ill patients are also monitored by intensivists and critical care nurses who are located in a different building (the eICU Service Center). By using computers, cameras, microphones and sophisticated software, these off-site providers are a "second set of eyes" for providers in the critical care unit.
They monitor patients' vital signs, view lab and imaging results and visually check on patients (via cameras) to support the nurses and physicians working at the bedside.
How is the ICU Service good for patients?
- Patients are monitored by critical care specialists located in the unit and by camera and computer - two teams working together to watch over critically ill patients.
- Remote providers watch for trends in patients' conditions to catch any problems before they become serious.
- The technology has been used in U.S. hospitals for 12 years. It is proven to decrease the length of time patients stay in the hospital by 25-35 percent and, more importantly, increase a critically ill patient's chance of survival by an average of 28 percent.
How is the patient's doctor involved?
The patient's doctor continues to be in charge of his or her care and care plan. The patient's doctor and members of the bedside care team discuss the patient's medical condition and care plan every day. When the patient's doctor is not present, the eICU physician may need to make decisions to ensure the patient receives the best care possible in a timely manner.
How do the cameras work?
Are they on the patient all the time? The nurses and physicians in the unit conduct rounds directly at the bedside and are the patient's and family member's primary point of contact. The eICU doctors and nurses only view patients by camera when they need to physically see how they are doing. They may do these "virtual rounds" hourly, every two hours, etc. depending on the patient's condition. Otherwise, they monitor patient vital signs and other care factors by computer.
A camera is mounted on the wall of each critical care patient room. When the camera is off, it faces the wall. When the camera comes on, a bell rings and the camera lens turns to the patient. Unit staff, patients and family members can talk with eICU nurses and physicians when the camera is on. The room is wired for sound. They can also communicate by phone.
Protecting our patients' privacyThe cameras and microphones do not record people or voices in the room.
- Sharing patient information between the critical care unit and the eICU off-site location occurs over private connections.
- Only staff members who have authorization can view patient information.
Learn more about the new eICU® Service.