Tuesday, October 30, 2012

St. Luke's to Implement Program

Philips Healthcare is going to improve local care provided by critical access hospitals affiliated with St. Luke’s Health System in Boise Idaho. The program will use Philips eICU technology to provide remote critical care support to critical access and other hospitals that do not have designated critical care staff available 24/7. St. Luke’s is planning to fund this effort through the $11.7 million “Innovation Award” received from CMS earlier this year.

“Studies show patients in ICUs managed by physicians trained in critical care have improved outcomes and decreased lengths of stay but many smaller hospitals are unable to have critical care physicians on site 24/7,” said Brian Goltry, M.D., Director of St Luke’s Boise eICU Program. “The eICU technology allows us to extend our critical care expertise virtually. We expect to see a reduction in mortality rates and patient lengths of stay as we roll out our program across the region.”

The eICU Program uses remote patient monitoring, two way videos, and clinical decision support at the bedside that link to an eICU center. This enables St Luke’s critical care physicians and other specialists from St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center to evaluate, treat, stabilize, and monitor patients in conjunction with providers and coordinators on-site.

“When physicians and other providers communicate by means of telemedicine, with full access to all patient information including imaging and laboratory studies, we are able to coordinate care,” said David C. Pate, M.D., St. Luke’s Health System President and CEO.

In another move, Kansas City's St Luke's system has announced a partnership with BJC HealthCare of St. Louis, CoxHealth of Springfield Missouri, and Memorial Health System in Springfield Illinois to partner to create the BJC Collaborative LLC.

While remaining independent, the Collaborative members will have a footprint of 4,821 hospital beds spanning Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. The combined annual revenues of almost $7 billion will enable the members of the BJC Collaborative to focus on savings, deploying clinical programs and services, to improve access and the quality of healthcare, lower healthcare costs, and create additional efficiencies.

Several opportunities may also be explored in working with information systems and technology in terms of data center management, data warehousing, software applications, hardware configurations, emerging technologies, and data security. Plus other areas that may be explored include population management, training, capital asset management, and financial services.