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Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System

 

GCVHCS opens Tele-Intensive Care Unit at Biloxi VA

November 15, 2017

GCVHCS opens Tele-Intensive Care Unit at Biloxi VA

 BILOXI, Mississippi -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System (GCVHCS) opened its first Tele-Intensive Care Unit during a ceremony at the Biloxi VA campus Nov. 15.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for the medical center,” said Dr. Chris Saslo, interim GCVHCS director. “We now have the ability to maximize our complexity levels of care the ICU arena.”

Having Tele-ICU capability is a first for Veterans Integrated Service Networks (VISN) 16, headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Of the eight facilities in this region, the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System is improving ICU access by leveraging technology and critical care.

Currently, Biloxi operates 10 beds in the ICU. Tele-ICU continues to support the Veterans Health Administration’s Modernization efforts by allowing patients to receive real time care through both telehealth and live intensivist and critical care nursing.

The Tele-ICU, allows patients to see VA’s Tele-ICU licensed physicians or Tele-Intensivists, and critical-care nurses through live audio and video feed which offer a direct view of the patient, electronic monitoring; chart review and consultations. Doctors can prescribe medications, order tests or procedures, make diagnoses and discuss health care with patients and family members.

“It is great to be able to have a second set of eyes on the other side of the monitors, Saslo said. “They can monitor activities and possibly see things that our on-station personnel may not see as quickly.”

The nerve center of this support service is located at the Tele-ICU in Minneapolis VA Health Care System (VAHCS) in the VISN 23 Upper Midwest Network. According to Minneapolis VAHCS Tele-ICU website, it is designed to provide electronic access to specialty-trained, board-certified critical care physicians working in close concert with experienced critical care nurses, in locations or during hours when this service cannot be adequately or practically provided locally. 

The VA has made it a top priority to continuously engage Veterans and their families to improve VA health care operations; this is also a top priority for GCVCHS, as well.

“We look forward to being able to provide a much higher level of service for our Veterans,” Saslo said. “Service they richly deserve.”

For more about the Tele-ICU program, visit https://www.minneapolis.va.gov/services/Tele-ICU.asp

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