Philips and Health First spotlight results of 15-year strategic collaboration in tele-critical care

Philips and Health First spotlight results of 15-year strategic collaboration in tele-critical care

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | December 11, 2019 Health IT Telemedicine
Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Rockledge, United States – Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and Florida-based Health First today announced the outcomes of their successful 15-year tele-critical partnership. Powered by Philips' acute telehealth platform eCareManager, Health First's VitalWatch eICU has demonstrated significant reductions in mortality and lengths of stay for the health system's sickest patient population. Leveraging eCareManager to synthesize patient data for actionable insights to support proactive care, Health First has created a centralized hub for patient care across venues beyond the ICU.

Significant ICU improvement results


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Health First became Florida's first tele-ICU when the organization went live with VitalWatch in September 2004 and remains the only tele-ICU hub in Central Florida today. VitalWatch allows Health First's critical care physicians and nurses to monitor real-time vital signs, laboratory results, and patients' complete electronic medical records from a central location across 102 ICU beds at the four Health First hospitals. The VitalWatch staff can also direct a patient's care on the spot via live audio and video connections to the patient's room if needed.

To date, the VitalWatch eICU program has resulted in:

23 percent reduction in overall mortality across the four hospitals as a whole;
49 percent reduction in ICU length of stay; and
35 percent reduction in lengths of stay throughout the four hospitals [1].

VitalWatch monitors more than 10,000 patients each year. Annually, this vigilance has resulted in 48,000 interventions by eICU intensivists and registered nurses. Additionally, these teams have conducted more than 370,000 telemedicine assessments and managed 62,000 calls from bedside teams seeking to collaborate on patient care.

"As patient needs in the ICU become more complex and the clinician shortage continues to affect this department, providing proactive care and spotting deterioration in these patients is becoming more challenging for caregivers – particularly since patient conditions can change so rapidly," said Carla Kriwet, Chief Business Leader of Connected Care at Royal Philips. "Philips is committed to helping deliver meaningful outcomes for health systems and patients, and this long-term collaboration with Health First represents how partnering around innovation can drive the desired longitudinal results."

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