The purpose of this study was to determine patients’ and families’ perceptions of care in 10 critical care units enhanced by a tele–intensive care unit (ICU) in a 5-hospital health care system. Patients and family members who had a critical care experience were approached for participation. An adapted version of the Schmidt Perception of Nursing Care Survey was administered. The Schmidt Perception of Nursing Care Survey factors–-seeing the individual patient, explaining, responding, and watching over—were analyzed for 637 participants (263 before and 374 after the tele-ICU implementation). Analysis of data from patients and family members indicated significantly higher means for the following factors: seeing the individual patient (P =.004), responding (P =.002), and watching over (P =.006) only when there was an awareness by the patient and family members that the care team was at the bedside and at the tele-ICU command center. The perceptions of care in these cases may suggest an improved patient experience when a tele-ICU is part of the care team.

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