Tele-ICU

Photo of doctor viewing ICU monitors

The MUSC Health Tele-ICU Operations Center delivers 24/7, continuous patient monitoring of partner hospital ICU patients by MUSC Health and Hicuity Health intensivists, advanced practice providers, and critical care nurses.

The tele-ICU is a transformational program uses proactive technologies and two-way audiovisual communication to enable intensivists, critical care nurses, and other critical care team specialists to collaborate in order to provide remote ICU care. Some hospitals use tele-ICU to gain access to intensivists, and others use the service for an additional layer of critical care support. System alerts produced by sophisticated algorithm software that inform remote tele-ICU physicians and nurses of important trends in patient condition, enabling proactive clinical decision making and early identification of potential problems.

The Tele-ICU and ICU Innovations Program was the proud recipient of the SC Telehealth Program of Excellence, which was awarded by the Governor in 2020.

 




Partner hospitals have demonstrable improvement in clinical and financial outcomes

  • Volume Growth
  • Decline in ICU Mortality Rate
  • Decline in ICU ALOS
  • Increased ICU Patient Acuity
  • Decline in Average Number of Vent Days/ICU Patient
  • Decline in Hospital ALOS
  • Decline in Hospital Morality Rate

Impact on Leapfrog ICU physician staffing score

Hospitals are scored for the ICU Physician Staffing section of the Leapfrog survey based on their answers to a set of 13 questions related to the structures they have in place to care for ICU patients. Hospitals can improve Leapfrog scores by integrating 24/7 tele-ICU coverage. Current SC tele-ICU partners reporting to the Leapfrog hospital survey have earned ‘substantial progress’ (3) or ‘fully meets standard’ (4) Leapfrog scores.

 

Current Partners

Tele-ICU Anmed

AnMed Health
800 North Fant Street
Anderson, SC 29621

Tele-ICU Carolina Pines Regional

Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center
1304 West Bobo Newsom Highway
Hartsville, SC 29550

Tele-ICU Kershaw Health

Kershaw Health
1315 Roberts Street
Camden, SC 29020

Tele-ICU Lancaster

Lancaster Medical Center
800 West Meeting Street
Lancaster, SC 29720

Tele-ICU RMC

The Regional Medical Center
3000 Saint Matthews Road
Orangeburg, SC 29118

Tele-ICU Hampton

Hampton Regional Medical Center
595 West Carolina Avenue
Varnville, SC 299444

Tele-ICU Roper Hospital

Roper Hospital
316 Calhoun Street
Charleston, SC 29401

Tele-ICU Roper Mount Pleasant

Roper St Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital
3500 North Highway 17
Mount Pleasant, SC 29466

Our Team

Dee Ford, M.D.

Dee W. Ford, M.D, MSCR

Professor of Medicine
Medical Director

Dee W. Ford, MD, MSCR, is a Professor of Medicine and Division Director for MUSC’s Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy, and Sleep Medicine.  She established, and serves as the Medical Director of, the Tele-ICU and ICU Innovations Critical Care Outreach programs. She has over 15 years of experience leading multi-disciplinary ICU quality improvement and program implementation projects, including serving as the Medical Director for MUSC’s Medical Intensive Care Unit. She is widely recognized for her collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to provider and patient engagement.

Dr. Ford became active in telehealth in 2009. By 2013, she was tapped by MUSC leadership to develop a strategic plan for accelerating MUSC’s telehealth programs. In 2017, she became the Program Director for MUSC’s federally designated Telehealth Center of Excellence.

Dr. Ford is from Anderson, South Carolina, and received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of South Carolina where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society. Dr. Ford completed her internal medicine residency training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and attended the Medical University of South Carolina for her pulmonary/critical care fellowship training.

 

Nandita Nadfig, M.D.

Nandita Nadig, M.D., MSCR

Assistant Professor
Associate Medical Director

Nandita Nadig, MD, MSCR, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Medical University of South Carolina’s Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Nadig earned her Medical Degree from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore, India. She then completed her internal medicine training at Mount Auburn Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship with MUSC. She now serves as the Associate Medical Director of the Tele-ICU program.

Dr. Nadig's clinical interests are centered around advanced ARDS, and reducing health disparities through the use of telehealth in community hospitals. She is responsible for the day-to-day workings of tele-ICU, as well as effective collaboration with partner hospitals to improve the quality of care delivered through the tele-ICU program.

Dr. Nadig completed a Master's degree in Clinical Research in 2016, and is focused on patient-oriented research and leading projects on the complex topic of inter-ICU transfers and the associated clinical, economic, and psychological outcomes. Her most recent research focus involves the development of telehealth interventions for patients and families through support/resource portals.

 

Perette Sabatino, MSN, RN 

Nurse Manager of Acute Services

 

 

 

Perette earned her bachelor's degree in Nursing in 1996 from Troy University, and in 1996, earned her Master's of Science in Nursing with a focus in education. Perette started her nursing career at Roper Care Alliance as a clinical nurse on an oncology unit. Wanting to work in academic medicine, she transitioned to the Medical University of South Carolina where she started on a neuroscience unit. She was instrumental in the implementation of MUSC’s first neurosurgery step-down beds.

In 2005, she joined the Medical ICU as the clinical educator/coordinator where she was the co-facilitator in leading the unit to receive MUSC's first-ever ICU Beacon award.

After several years of working in the Medical ICU, she started managing MUSC’s nationally recognized stroke program that now serves as the hub for 30+ telehealth sites throughout South Carolina. The program earned the highest level of achievement from the American Heart and Stroke Association under her leadership. Perette has presented throughout South Carolina, nationally, and internationally on stroke care, also serving on the South Carolina Stroke Learning Network where she mentored other hospitals who sought Joint Commission primary stroke certification.

Perette managed a neuroscience unit that exceeded ANCC Nursing Excellence in seven categories, deriving from MUSC’s Magnet destination. She has also managed a Cardiovascular ICU at the MUSC before transitioning into the Telehealth Nurse Manager of Acute Services role leading the operations of in-patient services throughout South Carolina.

Perette has been awarded the Palmetto Gold Award, which distinguishes the Top 100 Nurses in South Carolina, and multiple other awards for excellence in management, quality, and safety.