Alegent Health’s eFocus Provides Round-the-Clock Electronic Support for Critically Patients
Release Date: 08/08/2007

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Omaha, Neb.— Alegent Health’s most critically ill patients are now benefiting from an additional layer of vigilance, as they are now under the continuous virtual watch of specialized critical care physicians and nurses with the implementation of eFocus. This state-of-the-art technology is enhancing bedside care in Intensive Care Units (ICU) at Bergan Mercy and Immanuel Medical Centers. eFocus allows patients to be remotely monitored so that even the slightest change in vital signs can be detected and acted upon immediately. Studies show this technology is credited with making dramatic reductions in mortality rates, reducing the length of hospital stays and increasing patient safety.

“Our patients deserve nothing less than the highest quality of care we can give them,” said Wayne Sensor, CEO of Alegent Health. “Harnessing technology to improve the care and safety of our patients is exciting, particularly when we know it will help save lives and return people to health more quickly.”

Alegent Health is the first health care system in the area to employ eFocus technology, which works through sophisticated telemedicine technology, early warning software and electronic monitoring that connects the off-site eFocus Monitoring Center directly to the ICU bedside team. The eFocus monitoring team is made up of highly skilled, board-certified, critical care physicians known as Intensivists, critical care nurses and healthcare assistants.

When a patient is admitted into the ICU, the patient data is entered into the system including admitting diagnosis, level of illness and care plan. The eFocus care team then watches each patient’s vital signs and clinical results on computer monitors connected via secure data lines to allow early intervention when required. Each ICU hospital room is also equipped with a special hi-resolution camera and video screen that allows the eFocus team to see and interact with patients and the ICU staff. This real-time interaction between both care teams allows the staff to collaborate and develop the best patient treatment plan.

Recently, Alegent Health launched eFocus at Bergan Mercy and Immanuel Medical Centers 48-ICU beds. Scheduled “go live” dates for Lakeside and Midlands Hospitals will happen later this fall followed by the rural facilities and Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa towards the end of the year. Once all implementation phases are complete, eFocus will enhance critical care coverage for more than 90 ICU beds across its nine acute care hospitals, five of which are located in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area.

“Ultimately this innovative technology will measurably improve the lives our most critical patients by supplementing the already high-quality care provided by our existing ICU physicians and nurses. With our recent implementation of eFocus, we anticipate the extra level of vigilance will show significant improvements in lowering patient mortality rates, improving patient outcomes and reducing the length of stay for our patients,” said Fred Hosler, M.D., MPA, senior vice president and chief medical officer. “For patients and their families, that results in world-class patient care and something they deserve.”

In hospitals and health systems that have implemented eICU technology in conjunction with the ICU/eICU care model, the results have shown a dramatic reduction in mortality and length of stay and has enabled these hospitals to meet stringent patient care safety standards by ensuring all ICU patients receive continuous care from physicians and nurses who specialize in critical care.

About Alegent Health
Alegent Health is the largest not-for-profit, faith-based healthcare system in Nebraska and southwestern Iowa with nine acute care hospitals, more than 100 sites of service, over 1,200 physicians on its medical staff and roughly 8,500 employees. Alegent Health is making healthcare better with an exceptional commitment to quality and by providing patient focused care for the body, mind and spirit of every person. At Alegent Health, patients and their families find a continuum of care, from women's and children's services, primary care, wellness counseling, and senior care to cardiovascular services, orthopaedics, oncology, physical rehabilitation and behavioral health. Alegent Health is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and Immanuel Health Systems.