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SwedishAmerican and UW Expand Bedside Care with eICU Initiative

March 29, 2012

In April, SwedishAmerican Hospital's Critical Care Units (CCU) will offer patients an additional level of care through a unique program that links 30 CCU rooms with a UW Health e-Care of Wisconsin team of intensivist physicians and critical care nurses.

Small microphones and cameras in each CCU patient room will 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). Vital information for each CCU patient—such as heart rate, blood pressure, medications and test results—is monitored in the SwedishAmerican CCU and shared in real time with the e-Care team in Madison.

If a patient’s condition changes rapidly or unexpectedly and requires a medical response, the SwedishAmerican physicians and nurses at the patient’s bedside can touch a button and activate a two-way visual and audio link for consultation with the 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 computer monitor readings across the room. The patient and his or her caregivers also can see and hear the critical care nurse or physician on the other end of the link, making teamwork easier. The e-Care team members also are identified by name and credential on-screen. In addition to being among 10 percent of hospitals nationwide to have a program like eICU, SwedishAmerican is one of a few hospitals in northern Illinois to offer two-way visual communication between the CCU bedside team and e-Care specialists.

“Having eICU enables us to foster faster response times in critical care situations,” says SwedishAmerican Chief Medical Officer and Chief Quality Officer Dr. Kathleen Kelly. “The eICU supports our commitment to providing the highest quality care and service.”

According to Donna Katen-Bahensky, President and CEO of University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, “eICU is an excellent example of our growing affiliation with SwedishAmerican Health System and we are excited to add complementary services to the excellent care they provide. We share a common vision of offering the best and latest treatment options.”

SwedishAmerican currently is moving forward with plans to build and operate a free-standing outpatient cancer center in collaboration with UW Health and its nationally recognized University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. Its affiliation with UW Health involves other regional strategies that focus on enhancing the delivery of care, advancing medical research, growing regional telemedicine infrastructures and achieving seamless patient transfers and referrals between the two health systems.

About SwedishAmerican Health System

SwedishAmerican is a not-for-profit, locally governed healthcare system, headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. The health system is comprised of two hospitals, 30 clinics, a home health care agency, a foundation, and has an exclusive affiliation with UW Health in northern Illinois.

For further information, contact:
Paul Greenland

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1401 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61104
(779) 696-4400


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