The Application of Virtual Intensive Care Unit Principles in the Aeromedical Evacuation Environment Can Improve Patient Safety, Lead to Better Patient Outcomes and Deliver Integrated Medical Care
AIR WAR COLLEGE MONTGOMERY United States
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Military Health Service MHS professionals deliver care in unique, austere, joint operational environments. The complexity and unpredictability of future environments requires continuous development and enhancement of joint medical capabilities. A primary joint medical capability of health service support is en route care.1 Management of casualties takes place through the joint en route casualty care system ERCCS. The aeromedical evacuation AE platform is a primary source of patient movement through the ERCCS. Casualty management of critically ill and wounded in AE settings is complex but essential in saving lives. The application of virtual intensive care unit vICU principles in AE settings can improve patient safety, lead to better patient outcomes and deliver integrated medical care. This paper provides a historical narrative of telemedicine and vICU principles and highlights the utility of this capability in the AE environment. Utilizing current civilian and Department of Defense DoD vICU research, an analysis of the principles demonstrates significant potential implications on patient safety, outcomes and resources. Recommendations are to fund, research and define vICU capability as an AE requirement and establish a Joint vICU Command Center as the first step to implementation.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Escape, Rescue and Survival