NYMC Faculty Publications

Effects of Telemedicine ICU Intervention on Care Standardization and Patient Outcomes: An Observational Study

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Critical Care Explorations

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Second Department



Objectives: Given the numerous recent changes in ICU practices and protocols, we sought to confirm whether favorable effects of telemedicine ICU interventions on ICU mortality and length of stay can be replicated by a more recent telemedicine ICU intervention.

Design Setting and Patients: Observational before-after telemedicine ICU intervention study in seven adult ICUs in two hospitals. The study included 1,403 patients in the preintervention period (October 2014 to September 2015) and 14,874 patients in the postintervention period (January 2016 to December 2018).

Intervention: Telemedicine ICU implementation.

Measurements and Main Results: ICU and hospital mortality and length of stay, best practice adherence rates, and telemedicine ICU performance metrics. Unadjusted ICU and hospital mortality and lengths of stay were not statistically significantly different. Adjustment for Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation Version IVa score, ICU type, and ICU admission time via logistic regression yielded significantly lower ICU and hospital mortality odds ratios of 0.58 (95% CI, 0.45-0.74) and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.54-0.80), respectively. When adjusting for acuity by comparing observed-over-expected length of stay ratios through Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation IVa methodology, we found significantly lower ICU and hospital length of stay in the postintervention group. ICU mortality improvements were driven by nighttime ICU admissions (odds ratio 0.45 [95% CI, 0.33-0.61]) as compared to daytime ICU admissions (odds ratio 0.81 [95% CI, 0.55-1.20]), whereas hospital mortality improvements were seen in both subgroups but more prominently in nighttime ICU admissions (odds ratio 0.57 [95% CI, 0.44-0.74]) as compared to daytime ICU admissions (odds ratio 0.73 [95% CI, 0.55-0.97]), suggesting that telemedicine ICU intervention can effectively supplement low intensity bedside staffing hours (nighttime).

Conclusions: In this pre-post observational study, telemedicine ICU intervention was associated with improvements in care standardization and decreases in ICU and hospital mortality and length of stay. The mortality benefits were mediated in part through telemedicine ICU supplementation of low intensity bedside staffing hours.

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