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ConnECCT: Contributors to Effective Critical Care Telemedicine

PI: Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS

Co-Investigators: Derek Angus, MD, MPH, FRCP; Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS; Marilyn Hravnak, PhD, RN, CRNP, BC, FCCM, FAAN

Funding: NIH R01HL120980

Treatment in an ICU staffed by appropriately trained intensivist clinicians improves survival in critically ill patients, yet many patients lack access to this level of critical care. To address this problem, many hospitals have adopted ICU telemedicine to provide critical care services from a distance. However, the success of telemedicine is hindered by critical deficiencies in our understanding of how and where this technology is best applied. Telemedicine is a complex intervention, and existing programs vary significantly in both the components of intervention and the clinical setting in which it is used. In turn, studies of telemedicine demonstrate mixed results and decision makers have little guidance regarding how and where to use this potentially transformative technology.

To address this problem we designed the ConnECCT study: Contributors to Effective Critical Care Telemedicine. The goal of ConnECCT is to identify the key clinical and organizational factors associated with ICU telemedicine effectiveness. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, ConnECCT will both identify a core set of telemedicine "best practices", ultimately leading to a toolkit that can be used to optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of ICU telemedicine in the United States.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health, ConnECCT is the first rigorous examination of the factors that define successful ICU telemedicine implementation and will provide clinicians and hospital administrators with immediate, actionable data about how to use ICU telemedicine most effectively and efficiently, directly leading to improved access to critical care and improved survival for critically ill patients.