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St. Francis Launches First eICU in Area

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Wednesday, Nov. 28th, CHI Health St. Francis will ensure intensive care unit (ICU) patients receive the most advanced care available by becoming the first hospital in the area to implement eFocus.

eFocus, also known as eICU®, is sophisticated remote technology and software that adds a second layer of care for patients in the St. Francis ICU.

"By incorporating the eICU® concept into our critical care unit, we expect to not only decrease the risk of complication and shorten the length of stay for our patients, but to improve both patient and staff satisfaction, as well," said Ashley Hermesch, MHA, BSN, director of Critical Care at St. Francis.

The face-to-face interactions currently taking place at the patient’s bedside won’t change, but the "extra set of eyes" will serve as a behind-the-scenes resource for the St. Francis ICU doctors and nurses, according to Ed Hannon, president of St. Francis. "Patients and families will have the comfort of knowing, that in addition to the great physicians and nurses in Grand Island, they will be watched by a panel of physician intensivists and critical care nurses 24-hours-a-day," Hannon added.

eFocus uses remote technology and software to monitor and analyze patients’ conditions 24/7. Vital signs, medications, blood test, X-rays, etc. are transmitted in real time from the bedside to the eFocus team which them provides treatment and decision-making support. Special cameras located in each ICU patient room help the eFocus team examine patients and talk directly with the on-site staff. This technology provides the closest observation and best medical care possible for ICU patients and has been shown to decrease the risk of complications and reduce the length of stay for patients in ICUs throughout the US.

The eFocus team includes critical care/intensivist physicians (a board-certified doctor with advanced training and experience treating ICU patients), advanced practice clinicians, critical care nurses and support staff.

Confidentiality is strictly maintained by eFocus technology, which adheres to the same HIPAA laws that protect patient charts.

Since July 2007, the eFocus Monitoring Center, located near Creighton University Medical Center - Bergan Mercy at the Service Center, Omaha, has been staffed 24/7 providing eICU® services across the state.

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