It s the first-of-its-kind system in use in Texas Baptist hospitals are helping care for critically ill patients with a sophisticated new monitoring system.

They are the sickest of the sick. Patients in hospitals in the intensive care units who are recovering from injury, surgery or disease sometimes need around the clock specialized care.

Now, in a center in northeast San Antonio, critical care doctors and nurses are overseeing 125 beds in all five Baptist hospitals, providing 24 hour oversight of these complicated cases.

That means an extra set of eyes looking through high-resolution cameras, and extra trained professionals interpreting lab results and vital signs streaming constantly into what s called the e-ICU program, nicknamed e-Guardian.

Baptist has invested three million dollars in the system they expect will help cut costs and save lives.

What we ve found in other markets throughout the country is that in every place it s been instituted, there s been about a 30% reduction in length of stay and reduction in mortality in the hospital systems, Dean said.

Doctors are careful to emphasize the e-ICU doesn t replace the bedside care, just enhances it. It s another check and balance to prevent unnecessary complications.

Baptist first launched the e-ICU in December and has had great feedback from patients families who say it gives them peace of mind when they can t be at the hospital 24 hours a day either.

The e-ICU system is in place in 42 other cities around the country. Baptist is the first in San Antonio and the first in Texas to use the technology to care for the critically ill.
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