Innovation Gaining Recognition


Over the past few weeks I’ve been writing about some of the cutting-edge procedures we perform at UMass Memorial. This week, I was reminded of the innovative work being done in our intensive care units (ICU) and beyond, using our eICU technology.

Through UMass Memorial’s eICU program, specially trained critical care physicians known as intensivists use voice, data and video technology to monitor patients from a distance and enhance the patient care provided by the local ICU staff.

Dr. Craig Lilly, director of our eICU program, authored a major study published this week that showed that patients who were cared for by hospitals that used eICU technology were 26% more likely to survive in the ICU, and were discharged 20% faster. The study received national attention, including this article in USA Today.

According to Dr. Richard Irwin, our chair of Critical Care Operations:  “After going live with our eICU program in June of 2006, the second such program in New England and the first in Massachusetts, it has become an integral part of our model of delivering critical care. Our eICU program has also allowed us to compare our results with other eICU sites in a nationwide network composed of 475 ICUs and we have achieved the top quality ranking for delivering critical care for the past 23 consecutive quarters.”

Congratulations to all the eICU staff for a job well done.

Another Great Idea

The eICU is a great idea that is changing medicine as we know it. Barbara Keen, RN, a nurse in the operating room at UMass Memorial Medical Center’s Memorial Campus recently came up with another great idea to improve care and save precious financial resources, two efforts we must continually do in this time of financial challenge.

Barbara saw that the red trash bags designated for biohazard waste were used for other OR trash.  The red bags are considerably more expensive than regular trash bags. Barbara presented her idea on how to use the red bags more appropriately at an idea board huddle.  Thanks, Barbara – you show that everyone, everyday can contribute to UMass Memorial’s success.

Lastly, I’d like to call attention to the great work, coordination and collaboration by the UMass Memorial EMS team over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  A 70-car pileup on Route 290 in Worcester got national news attention. Our team worked tirelessly as first responders, along with the City of Worcester, Worcester Fire Department and other ambulance companies, to not only provide immediate, compassionate care to dozens of people in crisis, but also to maintain the region’s 911 program seamlessly.

Until next time thanks for taking great care of our patients and one another,


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