I’ve said it on these pages before: OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is proud to be a leader when it comes to pioneering new technologies for better care of those we serve.
In mid-2012, OSF ConstantCare, a state-of-the-art eICU program for adult Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, was implemented throughout the OSF Healthcare System. The goal of the program was simple: save lives, reduce complications, decrease length of ICU stays and better manage healthcare costs.
OSF ConstantCare uses a monitoring center in Peoria that connects all of the ICUs throughout OSF HealthCare. Managed by intensivists—physicians trained as specialists in critical care—and staffed by specially trained nurses, the eICU operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cameras in the patient room are activated when necessary to allow an extra set of eyes in the monitoring center to check the patient, and allow nurses and doctors to collaborate with the bedside care team to determine the best treatment for the patient. The software program monitors for trends in the data and alerts staff to potential changes in patient conditions.
Jen Hopwood, eICU operations director, says that while it’s a little early to compare outcomes from the quality data, she is excited about how the eICU has been the vehicle for providing standardization of critical care across our system. “Now the hospitals involved all use the same admission and discharge criteria, and have access to evidence-based practice order sets and nursing procedures specific to critical care,” she says. “This is a huge feat. It allows patients across the system to have access to the same high-quality care no matter where they go in the OSF system, thus leveraging our resources.”
We are excited to continue tracking this innovative care program with the goal of improving patient care.
Another new technology we are excited to bring to central Illinois is Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. TAVR is an innovative catheter-based therapy to treat severe aortic stenosis, a narrowing of the aortic valve opening that does not allow normal blood flow. An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis, with 250,000 of those suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis, which can be deadly if left untreated.
For many years, the only treatment for these patients was open heart surgery with valve replacement. Instead, the TAVR procedure is done using a catheter through an incision in the leg. With no need to use the heart-lung machine or open the chest, patients’ recovery is quicker, getting them back to their normal life sooner.
According to Dr. Sudhir Mungee, HeartCare Midwest interventional cardiologist, “TAVR needs a team approach and combines the skills of our interventional cardiologists and imaging cardiologists with cardiac and vascular surgeons. TAVR has assumed a major role in the management of symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis who are unfit to undergo open heart surgical aortic valve replacement.”
OSF Saint Francis has established this innovative procedure in central Illinois with the TAVR team, led by physicians from HeartCare Midwest: Dr. Dan Couri, Dr. Sudhir Mungee, Dr. Marco Barzallo, Dr. Dale Mueller, Dr. Jim Munns and Dr. Nabeel Rana. Started in December 2012, the TAVR program evaluates patients through the valve clinic at HeartCare Midwest.
The eICU and TAVR are just two of the ways OSF Saint Francis Medical Center supports the Sisters’ desire to use cutting-edge technological advances to better care for our patients. As we position OSF Saint Francis as a major referral center for these kinds of services, we will continue to share these initiatives through a series of community forums on a wide range of healthcare topics. iBi