Sentara Healthcare To Have Nations First Telemedicine Intensive Care Unit Contract Signed for New Round-The-Clock Intensive Care Coverage
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Sentara Healthcare To Have Nations First Telemedicine Intensive Care Unit Contract Signed for New Round-The-Clock Intensive Care Coverage 

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Norfolk, Va.- April 18, 2000 - A first of its kind life saving program is coming to Hampton Roads. Sentara Healthcare has signed a contract with IC-USA to provide continuous intensive care unit (ICU) management at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and Sentara Hampton General Hospital. Sentara is the first health care company in the nation to provide this life saving technology for critically ill patients.

"It is an incredible opportunity for Sentara Healthcare to continue to be on the leading edge of medical care, especially critical care medicine," says Sentara Chief Medical Officer Rodney Hochman, M.D. "Critical care units are some of the most important venues of care in our hospitals where some of the best things in medicine can happen."

The IC-USA program allows Sentara intensive care physicians or intensivists, to directly care for and observe care for ICU patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Intensivists will be able to continuously monitor and care for patients in the ICU at a remote location via telemedicine coverage when active intensive care doctors are not on duty. At a kind of electronic command center, they will constantly monitor computer systems and digital cameras attached to the patients bed. They can perform remote examinations of the patient, check the patients chart and x-rays and even talk with the patient if needed.

The intensivists will also have access to the patients' pathology reports, any lab data and even their nutrition reports, and have constant communication with ICU nurses and caregivers.

The medical director for the IC-USA project, Gene Burke, M.D., says "It's important to stress that this system augments the excellent care these patients already receive. The ICU nurse now has at her side all hours of the day an electronic intensive care specialist who works as a team to sort through constantly changing data and make critical decisions in a timely fashion."

Dr. Burke, who specializes in intensive care medicine says "This system will allow a specialist to help an ICU nurse manage care until the patients private doctors can come to the bedside."

Most patients see their doctor only during morning rounds. IC-USA gives the patient continuous 24 hour care by an intensive care physician especially through the overnight hours when there are no intensivists in the unit. This ground breaking technology helps doctors avoid complications by catching problems early, reduces the cost of health care and can even save lives. IC-USA is an e-health solution to providing high quality care in the ICU.

IC-USA is a privately financed company that was founded in 1998 by Dr Michael Breslow and Dr Brian Rosenfeld. The two doctors formed the company after leaving their jobs as intensivists at Johns Hopkins Hospital to develop the business full time.

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