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改变ICU人手短缺现状的女人

改变ICU人手短缺现状的女人

Dinah Eng 2013年04月01日
玛丽•乔•戈尔曼创立了高级ICU护理公司,采用科技手段为全美的ICU病房提供24小时的远程看护服务,可以为患者提供监护和诊断,从而极大地缓解了一些中等医院ICU病房人手紧张的局面,还降低了医院的看护成本。

    玛丽•乔•戈尔曼是圣路易斯的一名医生,不过如果让她去硅谷的初创软件公司工作,也一点儿没问题。今年53岁的戈尔曼已经成功创建了三家公司,包括最新开张的高级ICU护理公司(Advanced ICU Care)。借助科技手段,该公司可以对全美范围内重症监护病房(ICU)中的患者进行远程诊断和监控。这项开创性的服务正在悄然改变医院治疗重症患者的模式。

    戈尔曼于1989年在圣路易斯成立了Critical Services公司,从此开始了她的商业生涯。这家公司由一群重症监护医生组成。她亲眼看到许多重症监护病房面临的问题:病房里躺满了年迈的患者,医疗专家的数量却严重不足(他们更愿意去学术医疗中心工作),导致医院难以提供一流的看护服务。

    戈尔曼意识到,科技可以帮助中端医院解决重症监护病房人手不足的问题。远程医疗在放射科和治疗中风方面已经很常见,为什么不把它用于急救护理呢?2004年,戈尔曼在圣路易斯建立了高级ICU公司。这是美国第一家远程提供重症监护服务的公司,由重症监护医师为病人提供全天候24小时的看护。由于工作时间固定,工作地点位于地铁站附近,而且具备顶尖的监控设备,她的公司吸引了30多名医生加入。他们借助特殊软件来看护“客户”医院里的病人,可以探测患者生命特征,跟踪实验结果,分析病情变化。

    戈尔曼的公司很快赢得社区医院中的粉丝,比如北卡罗莱纳州海波因特地区医疗系统。海波因特是座中型城市,位于格林斯博罗西南方约20英里。采用高级ICU公司的服务前,为了满足重症监护病房的需要,他们的医疗团队需要从外地招募临时医生,但是这样做的成本非常高。格雷格•泰勒是海波因特医疗系统的首席运营官,本人也是一名医生。据他估算,自从海波因特采用高级ICU公司的服务以来,已经省下了“大约300万至400万美元”。(高级ICU公司按患者数量向医院收费)。远程报告文档也让他非常放心。他说:“通过电子系统,他们能够发现早期的危险迹象,已经挽救了数十名患者的生命。”

    戈尔曼说,即使是那些能请来当地重症看护专家的医疗中心,高级ICU公司也能使他们获益。保险公司想要减少重病看护的赔偿金,这给了医院削减开支的压力。戈尔曼估计她的公司可以帮助医院节省每位病人2,000至3,000美元的成本。(她拒绝透露高级ICU公司的财务信息,只表示从2006年开始运营起到现在,公司收入已经增长了55%。)

    戈尔曼的父母分别是土木工程师和护士。作为家中长女,她兼有父母所从事领域的性格:对待病人的理性态度【她1984年毕业于南伊利诺伊大学医学院(Southern Illinois University School of Medicine),并拥有超过20年的从医经验】和企业家的勇气。担任高级ICU公司首席执行官的戈尔曼说:“这是我一手开创的事业,我希望看到它结出硕果。只要我的董事会还支持我,我就会一直做下去。”如果事情有变呢?那她也一定可以在硅谷找到新的立足之处。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    Mary Jo Gorman is a medical doctor in St. Louis, but she would fit right in at a software startup in Silicon Valley. ¬Gorman, 53, has successfully launched three companies; her latest venture, Advanced ICU Care, uses technology to remotely diagnose and monitor patients in intensive care units around the country -- a groundbreaking service that is changing the way hospitals treat their most critically ill patients.

    Gorman got her start in business in 1989, founding Critical Services, a St. Louis group of intensivists, physicians who deal with cases in the ICU. She saw firsthand the problems many ICUs face: An aging population is filling up the beds, but a shortage of specialists (who tend to gravitate to academic medical centers) makes it hard for hospitals to provide top-notch care.

    Gorman figured technology could help middle-market hospitals supplement their ICU staffs. So-called telemedicine was already commonplace in radiology and the remote treatment of stroke patients -- why not apply it to critical care? In 2004, Gorman launched Advanced ICU, the nation's first "tele-ICU" company, offering around-the-clock monitoring by intensivists based in St. Louis. More than 30 physicians, lured by a job with defined hours in a desirable metro area, work in a state-of-the-art monitoring center, keeping tabs on patients at "client" hospitals with special software that watches patients' vital signs, tracks lab results, and analyzes changes.

    The company quickly gained a following among community hospitals such as High Point Regional Health System in High Point, N.C., a midsize city approximately 20 miles southwest of Greensboro. Before the health group hired Advanced ICU, it had been necessary to bring in temporary doctors from out of town to staff its ICU -- at great expense. Greg Taylor, chief operating ¬officer of the High Point system and a physician, estimates that Advanced ICU has saved him a sum totaling "in the $3 million to $4 million range" since High Point started using the service. (Advanced ICU charges hospitals a per patient fee.) The remote docs also provide him with peace of mind. "They're seeing early warning signs electronically that have saved dozens of patients' lives," he says.

    Even medical centers with access to local ICU specialists can benefit from Advanced ICU, Gorman says. Insurance companies are moving to reduce reimbursements for intensive care, putting pressure on hospitals to cut spending. She estimates that her company can save hospitals $2,000 to $3,000 per ICU patient. (She declines to disclose financial information about Advanced ICU except to say that annual revenue is up 55% from 2006, its first full year of operation.)

    The eldest daughter of a nurse and a civil engineer, ¬Gorman has a foot in two worlds: She has the rational bedside manner of a physician (she graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in 1984 and practiced for more than 20 years) and the nerviness of an entrepreneur. "This is a project I started and want to see to its fruition," says Gorman, who is CEO of Advanced ICU. "As long as my board will have me, I will keep running the company." And if things change? Well, she could probably find a home in Silicon Valley.

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