Staff acceptance of a telemedicine intensive care unit program: A qualitative study

Jane Moeckli, Peter Cram, Cassie Cunningham, Heather Schacht Reisinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We conducted an evaluation to identify factors related to intensive care unit (ICU) staff acceptance of a telemedicine ICU (Tele-ICU) program in preimplementation and postimplementation phases. Methods: Individual or group semistructured interviews and site observations were conducted with staff from the Veterans Affairs Midwest Health Care Network Tele-ICU and affiliated ICUs. A qualitative content analysis of preimplementation and postimplementation transcripts and field notes was undertaken to identify themes positively and negatively influencing Tele-ICU acceptance. Results: Telemedicine ICU training, Tele-ICU understanding, perceived need, and organizational factors emerged as influencing acceptance of the Tele-ICU before implementation. After implementation, Tele-ICU understanding, impact on work systems, perceived usefulness, and relationships were factors influencing acceptance and utilization. Barriers to implementation included confusion about how to use the Tele-ICU, disruptions to communication and workflows, unmet expectations, and discomfort with being monitored. Facilitators included positive experiences, discovery of new benefits, and recognition of Tele-ICU staff as complementing bedside care. Conclusions: Telemedicine ICU implementation is complex. Time and resources should be allocated for local coordination, continuous needs assessment for Tele-ICU support, staff training, developing interpersonal relationships, and systems design and evaluation. Such efforts are likely to be rewarded with more rapid staff acceptance of this new technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)890-901
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitude of health personnel
  • Implementation
  • Telemedicine intensive care unit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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