HOUSTON (October 30, 2008)

The Nelda C. Stark College of Nursing at Texas Woman's University (TWU) announced a partnership with the Memorial Hermann Health System and VISICU to better train and equip new nurses to practice in hospitals of the future. Through this partnership, the College of Nursing's Education Center for Clinical Innovations and Advanced Technologies will integrate clinical informatics, patient simulators and eICU® telepresence into the nursing curriculum. A Remote Monitoring system and Clinical Operations Room (COR) will simulate the eICU environment being used in health systems around the country.

The TWU Nursing Education Center will be the first site in the United States to seamlessly integrate patient simulation, with clinical informatics and eICU telepresence technologies, into nursing education. "This innovative partnership puts TWU at the forefront of nursing education and is an integral reason why TWU is rated one of the top nursing schools in the country," explained Patricia Holden-Huchton, dean of the College of Nursing at TWU. "Thanks to the support of our partners at Memorial Hermann and VISICU, we look forward to providing this opportunity for our students for years to come."

Dan Wolterman, Memorial Hermann Health System president and chief executive officer, supports this initiative stating, "We are proud to have played a part in uniting clinical settings, academic centers, and technology providers to work hand-in-hand to advance nursing education programs and the skill-level of our future clinicians."

"It is a collaboration that provides us with the opportunity to create simulated learning environments that immerse students into today's digital health care arena," added Ann Coleman, the education center's director. "We are excited to house this eICU technology at our Houston campus, in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, where we are educating nurses for the 21st century."

Sarah Sinclair, senior vice president and system chief patient care officer for Memorial Hermann, elaborates further on the benefits of this collaboration to new graduates, "Simulation is an excellent tool to enhance the student's critical thinking skills under controlled situations. Secondly, the use of state-of-the-art eICU technology in the course of nursing education prepares students to function in computerized environments. Both of these skill sets serve to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of new nurses while reducing on-the-job training and orientation time."

VISICU is providing the state-of-the-art eICU simulation module which includes hardware and software to equip TWU nursing students with point-of-care decision support tools for the critical care environment. These advanced eICU technologies enable more efficient critical care documentation and viewing of laboratory and other key clinical information. Embedded algorithms post alerts to facilitate the early intervention and support that leads to improved outcomes and reduced complications for critical care patients. Through the integrated eICU video communications, nursing students will enhance interdisciplinary team collaboration skills and leverage learning opportunities with experienced nurses, physicians, and other members of the multi-professional care team.

Frank Sample, president and CEO of VISICU, has led the company's efforts to improve critical care access, quality and costs with the eICU Program and he highlights clinical education as a key factor in transforming healthcare in America. "VISICU will continue to support leaders like TWU and Memorial Hermann in their efforts to align nursing education with the future of healthcare. We look forward to other institutions following their lead."