UAB launches first Tele-ICU expanded hospital in Alabama

staff monitors tele-ICU expanded hospital

Last week, the University of Alabama at Birmingham partnered with Whitfield Regional Hospital to launch the first UAB Tele-Intensive Care Unit expanded hospital. With this collaboration, Whitfield now has access to 24-hour Tele-ICU support including a team of experienced ICU nurses and tele-intensivists stationed at UAB. The Tele-ICU allows patients to receive vital care closer to their homes, saving valuable time and extending much-needed services.

“UAB Medicine has a longstanding partnership with Whitfield Regional Hospital, making it the ideal location to launch our first Tele-ICU expanded hospital,” said Steve Stigler, M.D., medical director of UAB eMedicine Critical Care. “This program allows us to support Whitfield in their ongoing commitment to providing high-quality patient care to the communities they serve.”

Whitfield’s eight-bed ICU is monitored remotely 24/7 by the UAB Tele-ICU team to help support the bedside staff. Each room is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including high-definition cameras, microphones and speakers that are hardwired into the room. The Tele-ICU uses computer intelligence systems that allow UAB nurses to monitor a patient’s condition around the clock and alert the patient’s bedside team to any changes that may require additional care from the hospitalists or remote ICU intensivists.

“Working with UAB through conventional tele-health at the bedside over the last few years has provided support to allow us to treat more patients,” said Doug Brewer, CEO of Whitfield Regional Hospital. “With the expansion of that program, it allows us to raise the level of our care with 24/7 monitoring of our ICU patients, and we couldn’t be more excited about that.”

In addition to 24/7 monitoring, the staff will also conduct virtual rounds on the patients each shift. The Tele-ICU nurses will review the patient’s chart, any changes to their condition and medication orders, among other tasks. The Tele-ICU also provides an opportunity for patients to receive specialized care from a UAB specialist that may not be immediately available in-house.

“By monitoring the patient in the background, we are able to quickly detect any changes in the patient’s condition and alert the bedside team to help them provide proactive interventions, rather than reactive interventions,” said Paul Malito, nurse manager for UAB’s Tele-ICU. “This provides the bedside staff more support and helps them potentially catch warning signs before they become a larger issue.”

With the Tele-ICU, hospitals can keep their patients, strengthen their capabilities and increase the level of care they provide. Patients are more likely to have a better recovery as they receive care closer to home surrounded by their support systems. The Tele-ICU also paves the way for patients to continue receiving care from their local physicians who know them and have relationships with them.

“We are thrilled to partner with Whitfield Regional Hospital and share the resources we have at UAB Medicine,” said Ishan Lalani, M.D., a pulmonologist in the Tele-ICU. “We look forward to expanding Whitfield’s Tele-ICU capabilities and helping them to continue delivering world-class, evidence-based care to their patients.”

By using this site you agree to our Privacy Policy.