ANDOVER, Mass., May 11, 2010 As part of a growing trend, rural hospitals from across the country are collaborating with larger tertiary care facilities and independent critical care monitoring providers to bring eICU telehealth services and support to their local rural communities. Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is supporting this trend and addressing clinician shortages by expanding access to critical care support in rural communities with the eICU® Program from Philips VISICU.
According to the Office of Rural Health Policy, while nearly one-fourth of the US population resides in rural areas and approximately one-third of the country's hospitals are located in these communities, only one in ten physicians practice in rural America. The following hospitals have recently taken the initiative to partner with eICU service providers to increase patients' access to critical care specialists in their local communities:
Access to eICU services is making it easier for these hospitals to attract and retain physicians and nurses. According to Todd Linden, president and CEO of Grinnell Regional Medical Center, "The eICU services we receive from Mercy Health Network in Des Moines have been instrumental in my ability to recruit an internal medicine physician to our facility, thereby bringing specialized services and expertise to our team. With the pace of change and the growing acuity of patients," he continues, "the only way that I see for rural hospitals to maintain an intensive care unit is through an eICU Center. We can't afford not to have it."
By treating patients closer to home, hospitals can potentially avoid having to send them to tertiary care facilities outside the immediate area. "We need to think more broadly about approaches to achieving our shared goal of improving the health status of all rural citizens," says Alan Morgan, CEO of the National Rural Health Association. "Initiatives like this can benefit patients and also serve to support the local revenue base and the economic stability of the hospital in their local rural communities. In some cases, these hospitals are the largest employer in the area, making stability and the need for expanded capacity even more crucial."
Since implementing the eICU Program through Advanced ICU Care, Union Hospital has reduced ICU length of stay by 26 percent, allowing for an 18 percent increase in ICU admissions.
"Extending advanced levels of critical care to rural communities is an important part of the Philips VISICU mission," remarked Frank T. Sample, CEO of Philips VISICU. "We help hospitals to keep their patients closer to home, avoiding unnecessary and often costly transfers."
Published data demonstrates that patient transfers from 10 small and critical access hospitals utilizing eICU services were reduced 37 percent, providing benefit to patients and their families while saving $1.2 million in associated transfer costs.
Philips VISICU is leading the transformation of critical care through its eICU Program. Using remote monitoring technology and clinical intelligence, critical care resources are leveraged to enhance specialist access, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce healthcare costs. Approximately 250 hospitals in the United States are currently using the eICU Program.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 116,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of US 32.3 billion in 2009, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
eICU(®) is a registered trademark of Philips VISICU. All rights reserved.
-- Grinnell Regional Medical Center (Grinnell, Iowa) with Mercy Health Network - Mercy eICU® Connect (Des Moines, Iowa) -- Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center (Kodiak, Alaska) with Providence Alaska Medical Center - Providence eICU (Anchorage, Alaska) -- Union Hospital (Clinton, Ind.) with Advanced ICU Care (St. Louis, Mo.)
SOURCE Royal Philips Electronics