Outstanding Innovation in Health Information Technology:
Christina Canfield & Alicia Burkle


Although they come from different backgrounds, Alicia Burkle and Christina Canfield share common goals and have a deep understanding of what it is like to care for patients.

Before joining Cleveland Clinic, Burkle was a paramedic. She began her Cleveland Clinic career in 2007 as a lead technician in the Central Monitoring Unit (CMU). She has since completed her undergraduate and master’s studies in business administration and served in many capacities under the CMU, currently as a program manager.

Canfield joined Cleveland Clinic as a nursing assistant in the Main Campus internal medicine areas while still in nursing school. Over the last 21 years, she has held many positions, including direct care nurse and clinical instructor in internal medicine and step down. While at Cleveland Clinic, Canfield completed her master’s program education as a clinical nurse specialist in adult health and began supporting the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). She began working with the project team to create eHospital in 2013 and entered her current role as a program manager in 2015.

Leveraging 41 combined years of nursing and emergency medicine experience, Burke and Canfield are uniquely poised for the CMU and eHospital programs they lead today. While the programs themselves are separate, they are united by the common goal of caring for patients in the most comprehensive way, while assisting caregivers on the front lines.
The e-Hospital program was developed as an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) telemedicine program for remote monitoring of patients. Its operations center (called “the bunker”) is staffed seven days a week by critical care nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians. While the eHospital team doesn’t physically see patients, its healthcare providers have full access to electronic medical records in the electronic health record (EHR) and place orders and review materials like labs and imaging studies. They perform visual assessments using in-room cameras and collaborate with caregivers in ICUs using two-way audiovisual communication tools.

Cleveland Clinic’s CMU is an off-site facility that provides secondary monitoring for hospitalized patients in non-intensive care units. The monitoring is provided 24/7 via the eCMU platform. The eCMU platform is a series of innovative technologies and methods – developed in-house – that give caregivers advanced capabilities to detect problems in patients who are decompensating. It serves as a command center where trained technicians use technology and risk-stratification tools to identify at-risk patients in a setting removed from the distractions of hospital activity.

In 2020, eHospital performed nocturnal monitoring in critical care intervention for eight Cleveland Clinic regional hospitals, leveraging its core capability – bridging the gap to complete continuous care and overnight assistance to caregivers. As a best practice, as new sites come online, eHospital will become integrated into their flow to provide monitoring services. A recent outcome analysis has supported the benefit of the monitoring, displaying that patients under this continuous monitoring have a shortened stay in the ICU. eCMU progress continues as well, maintaining the sites already under the plan and expanding into other sites acquired by the organization.

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