Virtual ICU with Access TeleCare is so much more than on-demand video consultations.

It’s a fully integrated, highly collaborative critical care program managed by Access TeleCare’s board-certified critical care experts.

Our specialists assist with ICU management, including transfer decision support, and collaborate with on-site teams to develop care plans and perform daily assessments through proactive, thorough, and structured interactions.

How Does a Virtual ICU Work?

When hospitals lack the capacity to staff an ICU 24/7, physicians and staff face an increased risk of burnout and patients face the possibility of poor health outcomes due to gaps in coverage. A lack of ICU capabilities also restricts the level of care hospitals can provide for post-surgical patients, resulting in more transfers.

Virtual ICUs have arisen as an answer to these problems, enabling comprehensive 24/7/365 coverage for facilities anywhere in the country. Virtual ICU models range from augmenting on-site resources with gap coverage on nights and weekends to fully staffed, 100 percent virtual units. On-site nurses and staff facilitate patient encounters and ensure the telemedicine technology is in place so that virtual intensivists and pulmonologists can deliver care virtually.

The two primary types of virtual ICU care are:

Emergent Attention

An ICU nurse first speaks to the teleCritical Care specialist on the phone within minutes for critically ill patients and arranges for an Access TeleCare specialist to initiate a video call.

Urgent/Routine Attention

The specialist is quickly notified of the patient status and need for a consultation. The patient will be seen in a clinically-appropriate period of time determined collaboratively with on-site care staff​.

Virtual providers input all necessary documentation directly into the hospital’s EMR and work closely with on-site staff to answer any ancillary questions and provide guidance for patient care. In this way, hospitals provide a higher level of care to their patients, increase the number of surgeries they can perform, and reduce the number of outbound transfers.

Access TeleCare teleICU vs eICU Bunker Model

Traditionally, teleICU services are categorized as “bunker models” — an expensive process where beds are wired with special technology and a centralized hub monitors patients.

A host of studies have shown alarm fatigue is a common challenge with bunker models as thousands of monitoring alarms go off on a daily basis, with fewer than 1 percent deemed clinically meaningful. A baked-in presumption of 24/7 monitoring can also encourage complacency, further reducing the effectiveness of the bunker model.

Access TeleCare’s TeleICU programs work differently. Access TeleCare programs do not rely on a wired hospital room or bed, meaning coverage is not contained to the ICU. Our proactive care management leads to better patients outcomes vs. reactive monitoring and unnecessary alarms.

Contact us to learn more about the benefits of virtual ICU care with Access TeleCare.