Omaha Public Radio News
3:38 pm
Fri September 23, 2011

The Omaha VA now has a Tele-Intensive Care Unit

Omaha, NE – The new Tele-ICU system at the VA of Nebraska-Western Iowa started in August.

Spokesman Will Ackerman says the Tele-ICU provides an additional layer of support in managing its high risk patients. A team of intensivists, based in Minneapolis, monitor patients in the Omaha VA using cameras and a two-way audio feed.

Ackerman says the doctors in Minneapolis have a bank of screens tracking the patients' vital signs. He says the resolution is on the video is so fine, that doctors can see the patients' pupils constrict in response to light.

He says a study that came out in May in the Journal of American Medical Association, "showed that Tele-ICU actually improved care delivery and resulted in lower hospital and ICU mortality as well as shorter lengths of stay."

The integrated Minneapolis-based critical care team is now available 24 hours a day to aid patients and clinicians in ICU's at VA medical centers in Omaha, Minneapolis and Fargo.