Emory embarked on an effort to optimize operational resources and ensure the timely delivery of appropriate treatment in the ICU. They used a $10.7 million grant from CMS to launch the Philips eICU program to monitor critical care patients 24/7 and provide intensivist physician oversight and support on the night and weekend shifts. Their goal was to improve quality of care, shorten ICU lengths of stay, and discharge patients in a better state of recovery, potentially reducing Medicare spending.
Results of an independent audit conducted by Abt Associates highlight Emory’s success. The three-year audit analyzed financial and clinical outcomes for Emory’s eICU monitored patients and nine comparable healthcare institutions in the region that did not have eICU monitoring services.
Due to the level of high-quality and consistent care at Emory, patients felt healthier when they were discharged and had fewer readmissions for 60 days following their inpatient stay. Emory discharged more patients to home settings than long-term care or skilled nursing facilities, and patient satisfaction for those patients who received care at Emory was more favorable than the comparison hospitals.