HumanInsight Association of interactions between Tele-critical care and bedside with length of stay and mortality
J Telemed Telecare. 2022 Jun 29:1357633X221107993. doi: 10.1177/1357633X221107993. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Substantial variation exists in telemedicine critical care (Tele-CC) effectiveness, which may be explained by heterogeneity in Tele-CC implementation and utilization.
METHODS: We studied inpatient intensive care unit (ICU) admissions within the Veterans Health Administration from January 2005 to September 2018. Tele-CC affiliation was based on a facility's Tele-CC go-live date. Tele-CC interaction was quantified as the monthly number of video activations, recorded in the eCaremanager® (Phillips) system, per patient days. Tele-CC affiliated facilities were propensity-score matched to facilities without Tele-CC by hospital volume and average modified APACHE scores. We examined the effect of Tele-CC affiliation and the quantity of video interactions between Tele-CC and bedside on hospital outcomes.
RESULTS: Comparing Tele-CC affiliated and control facilities, affiliated patients were, on average, younger (66.8 years vs 67.8 years; p < 0.001) and more likely to be rural residents (11.3% vs 6.5%; p < 0.001). Stratifying the Tele-CC affiliated facilities, facilities with frequent interactions care for more rural and sicker patients relative to facilities with infrequent interactions. Adjusting for patient demographics, facilities in the top tertile of interactions and propensity score matched control facilities were assessed; patients in ICU's with Tele-CC access experienced shorter ICU-specific lengths of stay (RR = 0.39; 95% CI = [0.23, 0.65]). However, when facilities in the bottom tertile and propensity score matched control facilities were assessed, no significant differences were noted in ICU length of stay.
DISCUSSION: Tele-CC interactions may occur more frequently for higher acuity patients. Increased Tele-CC interactions may improve health outcomes for the most acute and complex ICU cases.
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