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Lana A. Adzhigirey, RN, MN, CPHQ; Jayashree Raikhelkar, MD; Ralph J. Panos, MD; Jeremy C. Pamplin, MD, FCCM, FACP; Konrad L. Davis, MD, FCCM, FCCP; Fiona A. Winterbottom DNP, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, ACHPN, CCRN; Majdi Hamarshi, MD; Christopher Palmer, MD, FACEP; Marilyn Hravnak, RN, PhD, ACNP-BC, FCCM, FAAN
Telemedicine in critical care has been intensely watched and widely debated in the literature. As the field of telemedicine has advanced, the ability of critical care services to be delivered beyond the physical boundaries of the intensive care unit (ICU) has increased. Consequently, there has been some debate about what to call this service. Recently, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) Tele-ICU Committee has recommended that the traditional term tele-ICU be updated to tele-critical care (TCC), defined as critical care services delivered using communications technologies from anywhere to anywhere. This term better represents the profession today and how it will carry into the future.
The American College of Critical Care Medicine Task Force on Models of Critical Care highlighted the importance of an intensivist-led, multidisciplinary team as well as protocols, outcome measures, and institutional support as building blocks for high-quality critical care.1 These are also the building blocks of successful TCC programs. Collaboration among TCC team members is essential to achieve optimal care practices.2 In a study by Lilly et al,3 early intensivist involvement and improved adherence to best practices, both facilitated by TCC, were associated with lower mortality and reduced length of stay.
Kahn et al4 found three program elements that determined TCC service effectiveness: