OSF Healthcare adds extra set of "electronic" eyes

By Anna Yee

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 9:33 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- OSF Healthcare System's adult intensive care units are adding "eICU's."

On top of regular bedside staff, physicians and nurses will monitor adult ICU patients through software 24/7.

That keeps track of their vitals through alerts and if needed, video images, which will not be recorded.

Doctors say the technology will improve the quality of care at a time many hospitals are seeing a shortage of critical care specialists.

"Our goal is to leverage our intense resources whether it's an intensivist, whether it's an ICU nurse, and provide that care at the bedside to improve their mortality and reduce their chance of complications," said Dr. Saurin Patel, the OSF eICU Clinical Director of Quality Performance.

"How do we get them better faster and get them home faster?" continued Dr. Patel. "That's really our goal."

The "eICU's" will monitor a total of 141 ICU beds and are being implemented across OSF Healthcare Systems in Peoria, Bloomington, Galesburg, Pontiac, and Rockford.

Peoria's is up and running.

OSF Healthcare administrators say Bloomington's will start operation on Thursday, and the other locations should be operating no later than August 2nd.

Administrators say the project cost $6 million, and there will be no extra charge to patients.