Rural America should have the same quality intensive care as people in urban areas of the country. Families should not be burdened with financial or physical hardships while attempting to be present with a loved one during a significant injury or illness. In addition, all Americans should be aware of the Carbon Footprint produced with needless automobile travel. The amount of time and money that saved by hospitalized patients staying in their hometown hospital is significant. Family members are often unable to travel due to financial constraints, job restrictions, childcare or physical limitations.
The number of patients in the rural ICUs that are monitored eCare's intensivist model had they been transferred to an urban facility. Our data reviewed decrease in tranfers to our tertiary center and the amount of probable CO2 emitted for these trips.Additionally we considering gasoline for the miles traveled lodging, meals.
203 patients were abe to stay in their hometown hospital receiving care in collaboration with the TeleICU physicians and nurses assisting care delivery. Using two days as the minimum a family would visit and travel to our tertiary hospital Via Christi St. Francis. Overall, the total miles saved are 127,200 This amounted to 56.3 tons of CO2 emitted. It would cost $2,660 to midigate the CO2 footprint.The amount of money saved for gasoline was greater $70,000. The savings for lodging is conservatively estimated at $23,000 and for meals $40,000. This placed minimum of $133,000 dollars back into the pockets of the families and our communities.
The addition of eCare ICU in the rural facilities enhances patient care and increases survival by having intensivist coverage. Patient, families and staff satisfaction improves with the addition of tele health.
Long-range potential for TeleICU is significant. The economy of small towns depends on individual family economics. Further development of Telemedicine is crucial for rural families to stay productive in thier hometowns.
Elizabethann Cowboy, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information