Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Intensivist?
Intensivists are physicians specially trained to care for the sickest patients in a hospital, helping with diagnosis, treatment and coordination of care. Intensivist care has been shown to improve patient outcomes and reduce length of ICU stay in numerous studies. Unfortunately, there is a nation-wide shortage of intensive care specialists. For this reason, telemedicine has emerged as a practical approach to offer these services to ICU patients at smaller hospitals which are unable to staff full-time intensivists.
What is a TeleIntensivist?
A TeleIntensivist is an as-needed intensive care physician providing care by telemedicine to hospitals that need additional critical care support. Caring for patients in the ICU, assisting in management decisions in the emergency department or medical-surgical ward, the intensive care specialists provide critical care services at local hospitals, allowing patients to stay closer to home.
How do you assure TeleIntensivist competency?
VALIS partners with highly reputable telemedicine provider groups and specialists who are board-certified in critical care medicine and experienced in treating patients in intensive care units. These physicians are carefully selected for clinical skills, including the ability to manage care by telemedicine. They are licensed to practice medicine and credentialed and privileged by the hospital, authorized to provide care via telemedicine to the hospital’s patients. Ongoing quality monitoring assures each physician provides care that is beneficial, timely and meets the needs of hospital staff and patients.
Who is my doctor while I am a patient in the hospital?
Each patient in the ICU has a local attending physician who is responsible for coordinating the care of the patient. These attending physicians may ask the Telemedicine physician to provide critical care consultation to assist with the patient’s care. The Telemedicine physician can offer advice, recommend tests and manage many aspects of ICU treatment of the patient, but will always be available to assist the attending physician when requested.
Can I speak directly to the physician during my treatment?
A Telemedicine physician will be available for discussion of treatment issues with the patient and family members. The physician who manages the treatment that day can answer questions during a telemedicine session or later if available. If not available, another telemedicine provider is always available and can offer guidance to the patient and family.