Open the accessibility options menu Open Accessibility Menu
Close the accessibility options menu Hide

eICU Program Launches at Sauk Prairie Healthcare

  • Category: News
  • Posted On:

Pictured: Pictured from left to right are Tayler Fuller, CNA; Shawn Lerch, CEO; Dr. Wendy Ledesma, Hospitalist; Alexi Suchla, Director of Acute Care; Lisa Pickarts, Vice President of Patient Services; and Anna Pulling, Acute Care RN at the ribbon cutting for Sauk Prairie Healthcare’s eICU.

Sauk Prairie Healthcare is collaborating with UW Health to provide advanced virtual intensive care, or eICU, at Sauk Prairie Hospital.

Like many rural hospitals, Sauk Prairie Hospital has too few ICU-level patients to support the need for 24-hour, on-site ICU-trained clinicians. But the new, innovative eICU collaboration with UW Health, now enables Sauk Prairie Hospital to keep patients close to home while having access to the resources of a large health system, according to Lisa Pickarts, vice president, patient services, and chief nursing officer, Sauk Prairie Healthcare.

As its name suggests, eICU is a virtual intensive care unit where critical care doctors and nurses located at a UW Health command center in Madison, monitor and provide care to patients in collaboration with local hospital teams across Wisconsin and northern Illinois 24 hours a day.

“We are very excited to bring eICU to our patients,” Pickarts said. “This is a great example of how technology can be leveraged to improve the lives of the people we care for.”

UW Health doctors called intensivists and specially trained ICU nurses and nursing assistants work in front of large banks of monitors that display, in real time, the same information doctors and nurses at Sauk Prairie Hospital see, which allows them to consult on patient care with the local care team. The monitors also allow the staff to activate a live video feed option into a patient room to assess and monitor the patients in bed, and they can alert Sauk Prairie Hospital staff on site when trouble arises.

By providing additional resources, eICU helps providers and nurses at rural hospitals take care of critically ill patients without transferring them to a tertiary care center in the state, Pickarts said.

“Staffing is a concern for every health system, so to have these resources available to help our care teams is an important tool to help prevent burnout among our nurses and medical staff in the ICU,” Pickarts said.