(HealthDay News) — Intensive care telemedicine seems beneficial in nursing care, according to a study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Critical Care.

Ruth Kleinpell, R.N., Ph.D., from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a national benchmarking survey of nurses working in U.S. intensive care telemedicine facilities. An online survey was used to assess nurses’ perceptions of intensive care telemedicine in a two-phased study.

The researchers found that most of the 1,213 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that use of tele-intensive care allowed them to accomplish tasks more quickly (63 percent); improved collaboration, job performance, and communication (65.9, 63.6, and 60.4 percent, respectively); and was useful in nursing assessments (60 percent). Many respondents agreed or strongly agreed that using tele-intensive medicine improved care by providing more time for patient care (45.6 percent). The ability to detect trends in vital signs, detect unstable physiological status, provide medical management, and enhance patient safety were all benefits of tele-intensive care. Technical problems, interruptions in care, perceptions of telemedicine as an interference, and attitudes of staff were cited as barriers. Fifteen priority areas of care were ranked by 60 nurses in phase two; these included critical thinking skills, intensive care experience, skillful communication, mutual respect, and management of emergency patient care.

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“The results show promise in helping to further delineate competencies needed for optimal tele-intensive care unit nursing practice and shape the research related to tele-intensive care unit care,” the authors write.

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