Avera Health boosts ICU care quality, cuts costs with analytics tools from Philips

Over the course of year, the health system has cut hospital length of stay and saved $62 million with help from the company's remote care platform.
By Bernie Monegain
03:54 PM
Avera Health boosts ICU care quality

Avera McKennan Hospital and University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Credit: Google Maps

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Avera Health has improved the quality of care, boosted efficiency and reduced costs in its Avera eCARE ICU program.

Avera credits the results achieved over the past 12 months to employing decision support technology across rural populations, while minimizing gaps in care. The health system tapped Philips eICU program to help improve care quality, efficiency and cost across the intensive care division of its telemedicine program.

Avera eCARE ICU monitors 36 hospitals in nine states across the country, primarily in the upper Midwest. Since rolling out Philips' eICU program, the health system has reduced length of ICU stay, mortality, cost of care and clinician burnout, officials say.

[Also: Digitized ICU project saves Emory Healthcare $4.6 million over 15 months]

It has also reported saving $62 million in healthcare costs in doing so. For instance, the health system reduced ICU bed days by nearly 11,000 by responding more quickly to complications.

By Avera’s calculations, 260 lives were saved.

"Avera implemented eCARE ICU to support providers in rural communities by reducing physician isolation and improving the collaboration of providers," said Avera eCARE CEO Deanna Larson in a statement.

[Also: Baptist Health tele-ICU enables around-the-clock intensivist oversight]

As she sees it, the eICU program helped Avera transform how it delivered its critical care, in part, by ensuring that the most critical patients are continuously monitored.

With the switch to value-based care, healthcare organizations have to prioritize both quality of care and cost containment, said Christine Storm, business leader at eICU Philips.

Storm said the results Avera achieved through its eCARE ICU program shows how connected technology and remote monitoring programs can improve clinical outcomes and help rural populations get care when they need it most.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com