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Dr. Kahn Receives NIH Grant for ICU Telemedicine Project

Thu, 07/31/2014

CCM is proud to announce that Dr. Jeremy Kahn has recently been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for his project, “Organizational Determinants of ICU Telemedicine Effectiveness.” The project period will run from July 28, 2014 to May 31, 2018.

As the costs of health care are coming under increasing scrutiny, and with critical care medicine taking up nearly 1% of the GDP, ICU telemedicine, which makes use of audiovisual equipment to observe patients in remote hospitals, offers a unique alternative to traditional ICU units. According to Kahn, “In theory, ICU telemedicine can increase both the availability and reach of intensivists, potentially improving outcomes for critically ill patients, particularly patients in small hospitals and rural areas.”

Yet, while ICU telemedicine has grown significantly in the past several years, solid evidence for the viability and effectiveness of telemedicine is lacking. Some ICU telemedicine programs have been very effective at improving ICU quality, while others have been largely ineffective. Dr. Kahn’s project will fill in this gap, aiming to answer what he identifies in the project’s proposal as “the single most important outstanding research question regarding ICU telemedicine: why do some programs save lives, while others fail?” To this end, Dr. Kahn’s project will use a variety of research methods, including large-scale data analysis and in-person site visits to ICUs, to identify barriers and facilitators to effective telemedicine, providing a roadmap for ICU telemedicine implementation that will be useful for “patients, providers, and policy makers.”

Dr. Kahn is Associate Professor of Critical Care, Medicine and Health Policy in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Graduate School of Public Health. He is a core faculty member in the Clinical Research, Investigation and Systems Modeling of Acute Illness (CRISMA) Center in the Department of Critical Care Medicine, where he directs the CRISMA Program on Critical Care Health Policy. Dr. Kahn also directs several other grants from the National Institutes of Health examining the effect of ICU organization on the outcome of care for patients’ critical illness.