Baptist Health Partners with DOD to Provide eICU care Services to Fort Leonard Wood

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health is the first civilian healthcare provider to partner with the Department of Defense to provide remote high tech intensive care coverage for General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

Through this first ever civilian-military eICU pilot program, the Army hospital will provide its patients with an additional team of critical care specialists who will watch over their active duty military, family members and retiree patients 24/7. Baptist Health was awarded the five-year eICU care contract in August 2013 and services began at the 65 inpatient bed Missouri hospital in early January.

“The eICU care doesn’t take the place of the bedside providers but supplements the exceptional care we already provide here,” said Shelly Wiley, assistant head nurse for ICU at the Army hospital.

Each critical-care room with eICU technology is equipped with a camera, microphone, and speaker that enable staff in the control center to communicate with caregivers and the patient in real time. The two-way video and “cockpit-like sensors” of this advanced telemedicine technology enables the eICU care staff to detect even the slightest change in the patient’s condition and communicate more effectively with the bedside team. This model reduces the time between problem identification and enhances the quality of direct care intervention.

The hardware at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital includes four mounted cameras in their intensive care unit rooms and two additional mobile carts for use in the emergency room and inpatient medical surgical ward. The system is projected to save the Army hospital $1.7 million the first year, plus an additional $2 million each following year, according to Wiley.

By simply pressing a button the physicians, nurses or support staff at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital will be instantly joined by Baptist Health’s experienced critical care team to collaborate and treat their patients. The eICU care team includes certified physician intensivists and nurses who specialize in critical care and are highly trained to execute predefined plans; monitor lab, heart, blood pressure and oxygen saturations; or intervene in emergencies when a patient’s attending physician cannot be immediately present.

“If you want a second opinion right now, you’ve actually got to physically bring in a second physician. Our eICU care makes one available at the touch of a button,” said Wiley. “I don’t have to leave the patient’s bedside to get a doctor or page the physician. I can hit a button on the wall and my eICU doc is available within seconds.”

Staffed round-the-clock, every day of the year, the Baptist Health eICU care command center and its staff help hospitals like General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital provide state-of-the-art intensive care to its sickest patients. The addition of eICU care will allow the hospital to keep sicker patients who must previously had to be transferred for various intensive care, said Wiley.

Nationwide, hospitals using eICU technology with critical care specialists have seen reductions in complications, reductions in mortality, and better outcomes for patients.

“eICU care represents the best patient-centered medicine and is the right thing to do for our patients,” said Wiley.

With the addition of eICU care at General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital, Baptist Health now supports seven of its own hospitals, 10 community hospitals throughout Arkansas, and the first ever military base Army hospital located across our state borders.

As the leader in healthcare, Baptist Health has been delivering quality care to Arkansans for more than 80 years. And as the state’s most comprehensive healthcare system, Baptist Health provides more than 175 points of access including seven hospitals – all committed to delivering “All Our Best” to the people of Arkansas and beyond.