Dartmouth-Hitchcock adopts telehealth to expand ICU care

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New Hampshire’s largest delivery system is adopting telehealth technology to conduct consultations for intensive care patients.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the state’s only academic health system, serves 1.9 million residents across New England with more than 1,200 physicians delivering care. This initiative is aimed at reducing mortality, lengths of stay and ventilation days while providing patients with the care they need wherever they are.

With fewer than half of intensive care units in U.S. hospitals employing full-time intensivists, telehealth consultations using remote intensivists can help providers offer around-the-clock monitoring of critically ill patients at Dartmouth and rural hospitals.

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“As New Hampshire’s only tertiary care medical facility, demand for our services is high,” says Edward Merrens, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health’s chief clinical officer. “The use of telemedicine across the Dartmouth Health system and around the region aligns with our mission of providing the best care in the appropriate setting, whether it be at Dartmouth or at the patient’s local hospital with the support of Dartmouth specialists.”

The delivery system has selected Royal Philips as its telehealth vendor. The program will start with medical, surgical and neurology intensive care units at Dartmouth and in the intensive care unit at Cheshire Medical Center, a 169-bed acute care hospital in Keene, N.H., with a multispecialty group practice.

Dartmouth Health also will use the Philips IntelliSpace eCare Manager technology to give clinicians a single integrated view of patient data while also offering predictive analytics, data visualization and reporting options to deliver information to caregivers at the bedside, enabling use of value-based care.

“TeleICU also supports Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s academic mission of advancing health through research and education,” says Dartmouth-Hitchcock Connected Care Medical Director, Kevin Curtis, MD. “We are constantly seeking to apply the results of research and learning for the benefit of our patients. As telemedicine continues to expand, the evidence of clinical and outcome benefits becomes increasingly robust.”

Telehealth also can be leveraged to help providers better manage physician burnout and capacity management, says Felix Baader, business leader of monitoring analytics at Philips.

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