A Publication of WTVP

OSF HealthCare System is embarking on another first in cutting-edge medicine for central Illinois—implementing the eICU® Program from Philips Healthcare to provide better patient care.

This summer, we will implement the state-of-the-art program for all 139 adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds throughout the OSF system, starting with those at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. The goal of this program is simple: to save lives, reduce complications, decrease length of ICU stays and better manage healthcare costs.

New Faces
How will we achieve this? There will be a monitoring center built in Peoria this spring, with the OSF eICU activation starting in June. Studies have shown improved outcomes and decreased lengths of stay for patients in ICUs managed by intensivists—physicians trained as specialists in critical care. According to The Leapfrog Group, research has shown that in ICUs where intensivists manage or co-manage all patients, there is a 30-percent reduction in hospital mortality and a 40-percent reduction in ICU mortality.

However, there is a severe shortage of these specialized doctors in the United States, and many hospitals are unable to have critical care physicians on-site 24 hours a day. The eICU Program solves this problem. Dr. William Tillis, medical director responsible for overseeing the OSF eICU, is excited about this initiative.

“The OSF eICU Program will offer increased peace of mind to patients and families as it will provide additional oversight from trained critical care specialists looking after patients in our ICUs at all times,” Dr. Tillis says. “I am excited that the eICU Program will be able to have a positive impact on the care of the 9,000 patients admitted each year to OSF ICUs throughout the system.”

In addition to Dr. Tillis, Dr. Saurin Patel has been named OSF eICU clinical director of quality performance improvement. He will be responsible for developing best practice standards, quality improvement initiatives and monitoring metrics and reporting. Jennifer Hopwood has been named OSF eICU operations director; she will be responsible for managing business operations and program development, including implementing process improvements, along with patient and staff satisfaction.

The Ultimate Goal
Jen Hopwood knows this will make a difference when it comes to providing better patient care, which is the ultimate goal. “The addition of an eICU at OSF provides an added layer of care to the traditional ICU care model,” she says. “It creates a safety net for patients to ensure that they experience the best outcomes possible. Evidence-based protocols and algorithms are used to monitor for subtle changes in patient conditions based on the information that the bedside nurse enters into the electronic medical record and the information on the patient’s bedside cardiac monitor. The software program used in the eICU monitors for trends in the data and alerts the eICU staff to potential changes in patient conditions.”

The other important part of the process is the team approach to patient care. “The eICU nurses and doctors collaborate with the bedside care team to determine the best treatment for the patient,” she adds. “There have been a number of studies that show improved patient outcomes with the eICU approach.”

Consistent Quality
While the program is just starting at OSF Saint Francis, one of the goals for OSF HealthCare System CEO Kevin Schoeplein is the vision of establishing a “ONE OSF” concept, so no matter which hospital, center for health or medical group office you visit, you are given the same high quality of care. To this end, the eICU Program will also be in place at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center (Bloomington), OSF Saint James/John W. Albrecht Medical Center (Pontiac), OSF St. Anthony Medical Center (Rockford) and OSF St. Mary Medical Center (Galesburg) by the end of summer.

This clinical initiative includes several regional hospitals already inquiring about participating in this program in the future. This establishes OSF HealthCare System as a regional hub of sorts, which helps to further diversify the local economy.

As the huge population of baby boomers continues to age and government-mandated healthcare reform looms, we are looking forward to once again leading the way when it comes to delivering the best that medicine has to offer to patients and their families. iBi