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ICU telemedicine and the value of qualitative research for organizational innovation

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine April 15, 2019

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Research Areas

PAIR Center Research Team


The story of ICU telemedicine started in the 1970s, when an intensivist at a university hospital connected to a single small ICU using audiovisual technology to remotely conduct daily patient rounds and weekly teaching rounds with the local staff. Telemedicine, a technology-based strategy to improve patient care and outcomes, can extend the reach of nursing and physician specialists to greater numbers of critically ill patients, can serve as a platform for quality improvement and benchmarking efforts, and can facilitate the development of hospital networks that may add efficiencies to our healthcare system. On this promise, ICU telemedicine presently covers more than 10% of ICUs in U.S. hospitals, and seems to be growing still. It seems safe to say that it is here to stay.


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute ( NHLBI)