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Technology to Improve Access: How Telemedicine Links Intensivists to Intensive Care Units in the Veterans Health Administration

Reisinger HS, Moeckli J, Cunningham CL, Cram PM. Technology to Improve Access: How Telemedicine Links Intensivists to Intensive Care Units in the Veterans Health Administration. Paper presented at: Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting; 2013 Mar 20; Denver, CO.




Abstract:

A shortage of intensivists exists in the United States healthcare system. VHA is one of several healthcare systems turning to Telemedicine ICUs (Tele-ICUs) to provide bedside ICUs with access to intensivists via communication technologies. This paper reports on an 18-month ethnographic study of the implementation of a Tele-ICU in the VA Midwest Healthcare Network. Generally, Tele-ICU acceptance was greater in rural ICUs, while highly varied at academically-affiliated ICUs. This paper explores how to improve Tele-ICU acceptance and care quality by accounting for differing organizational contexts and perceptions of need for access to off-site intensivists at the two types of ICUs.





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