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Utilized or Underutilized: A Qualitative Analysis of Building Coherence During Early Implementation of a Tele-Intensive Care Unit.

Van Tiem JM, Friberg JE, Wilson JR, Fitzwater L, Blum JM, Panos RJ, Reisinger HS, Moeckli J. Utilized or Underutilized: A Qualitative Analysis of Building Coherence During Early Implementation of a Tele-Intensive Care Unit. Telemedicine journal and e-health : the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association. 2020 Sep 1; 26(9):1167-1177.

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Generating, reading, or interpreting data is a component of Telemedicine-Intensive Care Unit (Tele-ICU) utilization that has not been explored in the literature. Using the idea of "coherence," a construct of Normalization Process Theory, we describe how intensive care unit (ICU) and Tele-ICU staff made sense of their shared work and how they made use of Tele-ICU together. We interviewed ICU and Tele-ICU staff involved in the implementation of Tele-ICU during site visits to a Tele-ICU hub and 3 ICUs, at preimplementation (43 interviews with 65 participants) and 6 months postimplementation (44 interviews with 67 participants). Data were analyzed using deductive coding techniques and lexical searches. In the early implementation of Tele-ICU, ICU and Tele-ICU staff lacked consensus about how to share information and consequently how to make use of innovations in data tracking and interpretation offered by the Tele-ICU (e.g., acuity systems). Attempts to collaborate and create opportunities for utilization were supported by quality improvement (QI) initiatives. Characterizing Tele-ICU utilization as an element of a QI process limited how ICU staff understood Tele-ICU as an innovation. It also did not promote an understanding of how the Tele-ICU used data and may therefore attenuate the larger promise of Tele-ICU as a potential tool for leveraging big data in critical care. Shared data practices lay the foundation for Tele-ICU program utilization but raise new questions about how the promise of big data can be operationalized for bedside ICU staff.

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