(PHILADELPHIA) – The University
of Pennsylvania Health System’s virtual intensive
care unit, Penn E-lert, has upgraded by adding new alerts and alarms,
equipment interfaces and converting to paperless record keeping.
These enhancements will add another dimension to this invaluable
system, increasing the speed, transparency and accuracy of treatment
for the critically ill.
“It’s really another set of expert eyes,” said
Frank Sites, RN, operations director for Penn E-lert.
“In addition to tracking vital sign trends and hemodynamics
the new system has a new medication, lab and respiratory interface
as well as a sepsis alarm. It also continues to be an invaluable
teaching tool for residents and fellows working in critical care
Penn E-lert eICU® is a remote monitoring system that integrates
interdisciplinary intensive-care teams with innovative technology
to educate, improve practice, increase efficiency and save lives.
Off-site doctors and nurses can track numerous patients through
a computer, camera and audio system. The system is programmed to
track trends and changes in critically sick patients. Bedside physicians
can be made aware of these trends and changes to prevent patient
deterioration and complications from arising.
Critical care situations require accuracy and transparency. Everyone
involved in the treatment of a critical patient must be on same
page when it comes to care. The newest edition of Penn E-lert has
improved both aspects.
“The biggest improvement is paperless record keeping. It’s
all right there on the computer,” said Sites. “Typically
patient care is documented on a ten-page flow sheet. Sometimes the
handwriting is unreadable or something can be lost in translation.
Not on the new system. Everything is there on the patient’s
page. All medications, treatment, trends, alarms, vital sign changes
are right there. It’s all clearly legible. Everyone involved
in the patient’s care from nurses, to doctors, to social workers
can sign in and check on a patient’s treatment. No more looking
for the doctor or looking for a patient’s chart. This also
prevents confusion when a new shift of doctors and nurses take over.
They just log on to the computer and it’s all right there.”
“The proactive approach of virtual ICUs, like Penn E-lert,
has resulted in lower mortality among the sickest of patients. That’s
the most important thing,” said Sites. “At night a faculty
intensive care specialist is both continuously evaluating patients
for developing problems and available for strategic advice and feedback
to the bedside staff. In certain situations we have averted life-threatening
The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s Penn E-lert
monitors five different ICUs: one at the Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania, one at Penn
Presbyterian Medical Center and three at Pennsylvania
PENN Medicine is a $2.9 billion enterprise
dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical
research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists
of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in
1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of
Pennsylvania Health System.
Penn's School of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for receipt
of NIH research funds; and ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News
& World Report's most recent ranking of top research-oriented
medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students,
the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior
education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists
and leaders of academic medicine.
The University of Pennsylvania Health System includes three hospitals,
all of which have received numerous national patient-care honors [Hospital
of the University of Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's
first hospital; and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center]; a faculty practice
plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite
facilities; and home care and hospice.