St. Louis-based Mercy, operating 32 hospitals across four states, is significantly expanding its use of telemedicine technology to remotely monitor intensive care units and emergency departments.

The organization currently monitors 430 ICU beds and multiple emergency departments using technology from Philips Healthcare. Now, it will expand telemonitoring to 1,500 acute care beds in its system, and begin offering an outsourced service targeting ICU and stroke care, as well as acute care, to hospitals across the nation.

The new service will work for a variety of hospitals and delivery systems regardless of size or location, a Mercy spokesperson says. “Our successful experience in intensive care has shown us it is less about size and more about a relationship through technology.”

Mercy expects to launch the program in April 2014 offering bi-directional audio and video access in patient rooms. Features of the program will include automated monitoring of vital signs with triggers for certain warning signs to identify emerging problems and reduce complications, video visitations to enable patients to interact with family and friends, clinical best practices to quickly detect and treat sepsis, pressure ulcers and falls; and recording of discharge instructions that are uploaded to a patient portal to improve self-care and treatment adherence at home.

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