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Connecting the Docs: This Tool Pulls in Reams of Data and Presents it to Remote Critical Care Specialists to Virtually Support Patients During the Pandemic

“We learned quickly that there are tools that can help us to connect and in health care that is a revolution.” -- Matthias Merkel, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Associate Chief Medical Officer, Capacity Management and Patient Flow, OHSU Health.

In August 2019, Oregon Health & Science University Health was the first system in the world to test the Mural Virtual Care Solution. The software solution was intended to bring various streams of data together allowing clinicians and nurses to access the status of multiple intensive care unit (ICU) patients in one central place. Within weeks, the OHSU Health team saw value in the solution, which allowed them to:

  • Drill down into each patient dataset based on OHSU’s defined prioritization.
  • Help clinical care teams take a closer look at an individual patient’s vital signs in near real time.
  • Manage hospital-defined protocols.
  • Activate audio/video feeds of the room.
  • Consult information in their electronic medical records.

Four months later, the health system made an initial investment in the Mural Solution, never anticipating that it would play a critical role in their crisis preparedness plans.

“It became very clear early on [in the pandemic] that the Virtual ICU we already had in place to enable critical care expertise to rapidly reach a patient in a remote location would be a good tool to utilize in this crisis,” said Matthias Johannes Merkel, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Associate Chief Medical Officer, Capacity Management and Patient Flow, OHSU Health.

Filmmaker and GE Healthcare correspondent Mikey Kay sat down virtually with Merkel to talk about the collaboration, the impact it’s had on care delivery and what’s next, “The real work starts now to learn, that if what came up in a crisis, is actually in the long run a better, more sustainable, effective way to deliver care.”