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Qual Saf Health Care. 2010 Dec;19(6):e39. doi: 10.1136/qshc.2007.024992. Epub 2010 Apr 27.

The impact of a tele-ICU on provider attitudes about teamwork and safety climate.

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  • 1School of Health InformationSciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



To measure teamwork and safety climate in three intensive care units (ICUs) before and after remote monitoring by intensivists using telemedicine technology (tele-ICU).


Controlled pre tele-ICU and post tele-ICU cross-sectional survey.


ICUs in two non-teaching community hospitals and one tertiary care teaching hospital. Subjects ICU physicians and nurses.


Remote monitoring of ICU patients by intensivists.


Teamwork Climate Scale (TWS), a Safety Climate Score (SCS) and survey items related to tele-ICU.


The mean (SD) teamwork climate score was 69.7 (25.3) and 78.8 (17.2), pre and post tele-ICU (p = 0.009). The mean SCS score was 66.4 (24.6) and 73.4 (18.5), pre and post tele-ICU (p = 0.045). While SCS scores within the ICUs improved, the overall SCS scores for these hospitals decreased from 69.0 to 65.4. Three of the non-scaled items were significantly different pre and post tele-ICU at p<0.001. The item means (SD) pre and post tele-ICU were: "others interrupt my work to tell me something about my patient that I already know" 2.5 (1.2) and 1.6 (1.3); "I am confident that my patients are adequately covered when I am off the unit" 3.2 (1.3) and 4.2 (1.1); and "I can reach a physician in an urgent situation in a timely manner" 3.8 (1.2) and 4.6 (0.6).


Implementation of a tele-ICU was associated with improved teamwork climate and safety climate in some ICUs, especially among nurses. Providers were also more confident about patient coverage and physician accessibility, and did not report unnecessary interruptions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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