PURPOSE: The main aim of the study was to evaluate the patient's acceptance and comfort interacting with eICU staff and monitoring equipment during their MICU stay.
METHODS: A 9-item questionnaire was created to evaluate the patient's acceptance of eICU. One hundred MICU patients were interviewed within 24 hours of transferred from MICU. The survey was conducted in English or Spanish. The protocol was approval by local IRB.
RESULTS: 63% of the interviewees knew of the camera's presence, 75% felt the camera in their room did not make them self-conscious. Most of half of the patients did not interact with the camera during the MICU stay. The majority felt more comfortable with the presence of the camera as days passed, however, 59% of the patients preferred a room without the camera, if asked. 63% agreed or strongly agreed that when the eICU spoke to them, it took them by surprise and it took them few minutes every time to realize that the conversation was coming from a remote site. The majority did not feel comfortable with the idea that they can be watched continuously (72%).
CONCLUSION: eICU allows continuous observation of ICUs in a centralized unit. Our policy is that conscious’ patients should be informed of the presence of a camera and to recognize when the camera is on. The majority of the patients stated that they did not feel comfortable with the idea of being observed continuously, this suggests they were not informed of how the camera works and how to know if it is on or off. Although, they were concerned about privacy many patients stated they felt eICU protects them from physicians’ and nurses’ errors.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: An important aspect of medical practice is the communication between patients and physicians. The develop of eICUs have modify that relationship. Technology can maximize the resources available, however, we need to make it acceptable and appealing to our patients. Understanding their feeling toward this new technology will improve the patient-physician interaction.
DISCLOSURE: Diego Maselli-Caceres, None.