Reasons why Tele ICU is more important now than ever before
This can be noticeable that the healthcare in India is growing at a fast pace but it is limited to some regions only. The inequality in the healthcare facilities in the urban and rural areas in India is well known. Due to this distribution of medical facilities, people who resides in the rural areas of the country needs to spent large amount of money to get the treatment in the Multispecialty Hospitals in the bigger cities.
Moreover, the lack of infrastructure is not only the challenge in Indian Healthcare system but the high cost of treatment, shortage of medical personnel, Unavailability of preventative care checkup units, and diagnostic facilities are one of them.
Although there is immense strength and potential for the growth of Indian Healthcare sector but certain challenges and obstacles like unbalance between the demand and supply of the health services needs to be addressed, in order to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
In order to provide access to healthcare at an affordable price, many initiatives have been developed to overcome these challenges. As Telemedicine is a solution centric approach. Embracing Tele ICU technology is one of the solutions with an aim to provide critical care services to the underserved regions of the country at an affordable price.
Tele ICU, a concept by which an experienced intensivist and a trained ICU nurse can able to serve critically ill patient, present in rural areas, remotely by means of Two-way audio-visual cameras.
Following are the 10 reasons why opting Tele ICU is a better solution:
Quality of ICU care and Quantity of Intensivists- Both matter:
The poor doctor patient ratio that India suffers from is no secret. The situation only worsens when we talk about super-specialists like Critical Care specialists and Intensivists in tier II and III cities esp. in comparison to metro cities. Thus, here quality of ICU care can either be assured by increasing thenumber of Intensivists (which is not achievable in a short duration) or by adopting medical technologies like TeleICU (EICU) which acts as a force multiplier.
Majority of patients in Non-metro cities are pocket paying and high-end facilities like Critical Care are generally out of their reach. TeleICU can provide high level of care at a fraction of the cost (as compared to bigger hospitals in metro cities) making it possible for even the less privileged patients to avail it.
Even if a hospital or a nursing home is willing to upgrade its ICU and train its ICU personnel, the lack of availability of technical and medical know-how is a major stumbling block. Availability of intellectual resources via TeleICU can provide the necessary impetus for improving the ICU infrastructure and skill of ICU nurses and doctors.
COVID-19 Patient management:
The current pandemic has exposed major chinks in the Indian Healthcare System. Lack of expertise in managing critical COVID patients and lack of updated information about the ever-increasing knowledge being added internationally about COVID treatment is a major drawback in providing quality and latest treatment. TeleICU and Tele Medicine acts as a bridge between the international community and our peripheral ICUs engaged in treating COVID patients.
COVID-19: Health Care workers’ safety:
Using Medical technology like Hospital Information System (HIS) Software and 2- way Audio Video systems limits the number of personnel required to be physically present inside COVID care units and ICUs. This automatically decreases the risk of exposure and of acquiring COVID by HealthCare Workers. This can help save lives of frontline workers.
Every patient and their families would like that they or their ward is treated by the best minds available with best expertise. If that can be made available locally at an affordable cost via Tele Medicine facility, not only does the patient has a better chance at recovery but the family too can be at rest that they have availed the best of treatment there is.
Medical Staff Satisfaction:
Every medical worker wants to do his or her best for the patient. Their commitment to patients is only limited by their clinical capabilities. When Tele ICU back up enhances their capability, they are able to go an extra mile for their patients. Thus, they derive satisfaction in the fact that they have a part to play in patient wellbeing. Moreover, on job training while working with senior doctors via Tele Medicine leads to their skill enhancement.
Tele ICU helps in brand building because in the remote areas of the country, generally, people tend to visit metro cities or bigger cities for their treatment. But if the local hospitals have opted for Tele ICU services, then they can provide the same level of care &treatment and expertise advise to the patients in their peripheral setups as provided in the metro cities. The association of the local hospitals to the best critical care team of intensivists through Tele ICUs can aid brand building of the spoke hospitals.
It has proven that innovative technology in healthcare is the future of healthcare delivery system. Opting cutting edge technology for serving critically ill patients over conventional methods help patients in early recovery, improvement in discharges, reduction in readmission and patient as well as attendant’s satisfaction. All these positive outcomes help any hospital, medical center who have opted telemedicine to establish a good image in the market hence create market dominance.
With the help of Tele ICUs, hospital in the remote areas can be able to treat more critically ill patients. Hospitals can run their ICU in the local setups and can avoid transfers and referrals while maintaining quality standards and protocols, therefore, helps to generate revenue of the hospital.