Tele-ICU for Veterans
- Need: To enhance care for patients in critical condition.
- Intervention: Two VA facilities in Oklahoma and Ohio are connected through audiovisual equipment using smart technology in order for providers to monitor patients and consult with clinical staff at the bedside.
- Results: From October 2019 to April 2021, there were 11,058 video assessments performed on ICU patients at the Oklahoma facility by tele-ICU staff. This resulted in 17,578 hours of patient care time.
Oklahoma VA Health Care System (EOVAHCS) serves over
47,000 veterans in a 25-county region, with facilities in
Tulsa and the rural communities of Muskogee, McAlester,
Vinita, and Idabel. EOVAHCS and the Cincinnati VA
Medical Center's Tele-ICU Monitoring Center have
partnered to provide access to 24/7 remote patient
monitoring for rural veterans in the intensive care unit
(ICU) and emergency department.
The program was funded by the VHA Office of Rural
Twelve ICU rooms and three emergency department rooms at
EOVAHCS have teleconferencing equipment. EOVAHCS has also
acquired two portable units that can connect from any
room in the facility. Critical care nurses use this
equipment to connect to providers and other critical care
nurses from the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Through
teleconferencing, providers and nursing staff can access
patients' bedside data, videoconference with patients,
provide consultations, and communicate with clinical
staff through any medical emergencies.
When a tele-ICU provider or nurse virtually enters a
room, the camera turns to face the patient; now the
provider and patient can see each other and communicate.
The camera turns off when the teleconferencing session
ends. The cameras do not record video.
From October 2019 to April 2021, there were 11,058 video
assessments performed on ICU patients at EOVAHCS by
tele-ICU staff. This resulted in 17,578 hours of added
assessment time by either an Intensivist or Certified
Critical Care RN. This enhances the care provided by
bedside staff and provides an additional layer of
There has been a challenge with the emergency department
(ED) not being able to use the remote patient monitoring
because the critical patient is not in a room with the
technology. More often, the staff members use tele-ICU to
give a report on patients who will go to the ICU.
There have been some technology challenges that have not
allowed the tele-ICU staff to see patients due to camera
failure. To address this, the facility has updated the
monitoring system of patients in the ICU and ED.
Through mandatory training for providers and nursing
staff, program coordinators are seeing more involvement
Emergency department and urgent care services
June 6, 2018
Date updated or reviewed
June 29, 2021
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Tele-ICU for Veterans [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 8 December 2022]
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programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
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in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.