Using nutrition software8 equipped on GE Healthcare’s newest ventilator, the Carescape R860, The Jewish Hospital – Mercy Health (TJHMH) (Cincinnati) was able to reduce the amount of time ventilated patients remained in the ICU by 28%, which resulted in a cost savings of nearly $9,000 per patient, according to a study conducted by the hospital. That per patient savings could mean a projected annual savings of over $5 million, TJHMH noted.

The hospital’s ICU is the first in the US to use the Carescape R860, which received FDA approval in June 2015, according to GE.

The device’s software allows clinicians to provide a customized assessment of the patient’s nutritional status, through a respiratory care module. This innovative software on GE Healthcare’s ventilators, along with its corresponding respiratory module, provides measured data on ICU patients’ caloric needs, which clinicians can use to find the right nutritional balance for patients, a key to recovery.

The Importance of Nutrition

Nutrition is a vital factor in every person’s health, so when a patient becomes critically ill, every calorie, vitamin, liquid or lack thereof is significant to recovery.3,4,5 Today, approximately 40-50% of ICU patients are malnourished,3 which can delay the recovery process and increase time spent in the ICU.

Part of this is because ICU care teams have traditionally used manual estimates, one-size-fits-all equations or bulky machines with high training barriers to assess and deliver nutrients to ICU patients. In fact, this approach is accurate only about 30% of the time.3,4,5

GE Healthcare’s solution was to build automated nutrition assessment software into the ventilator, the machines these patients are already connected to for breathing assistance. The CARESCAPE R860 uses data to measure the patient’s nutritional needs and provides measured calorimetry, not estimates, back to the care team via a touch-screen with swipe controls. The care team can then use this data to customize nutritional support.

 A Growing Need

The admissions rate to hospital intensive care units (ICU) has increased by nearly 50% over the past six years and with it the cost of critical care.1 With an aging and an increasingly sicker population driving increases in spending on hospital care, if every hospital in the US were able to apply the same technology, care approach and savings as The Jewish Hospital across those of the 5 million patients admitted to the ICU each year who are ventilatedit’s conceivable the country’s healthcare system could reap astounding savings, according to TJHMH’s press release.

“In hospitals, there’s a strong focus on reducing readmission rates. But in the ICU, length of stay is the measure that matters in determining how effectively we’re caring for our patients,” said Pat Davis-Hagens, Mercy Health Central Market president and CEO of The Jewish Hospital. “We’re proud to be the first in the US to use GE Healthcare’s CARESCAPE R860 ventilators and prouder still to be able to get our patients back to their lives as soon as possible. This real-life case study could pave the way for more hospitals to improve care for their sick ICU patients, while potentially reducing costs and length of stay.”

“The ICU is where the most critically ill patients are cared for and we have a duty to focus more advanced innovations on making an impact in this area. This is the gap we designed the CARESCAPE R860 to fill,” said Thierry Leclercq, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Life Care Solutions. “As a ventilator, it provides lung protection tools intended to help clinicians implement lung protection strategies and help caregivers assess when patients may be ready to breathe on their own. In the complex world of ICU nutrition, it provides calculated data that moves us away from the manual estimates traditionally used in care. The Jewish Hospital demonstrated how advanced technology in the hands of today’s skilled care teams can help solve some of our most complex healthcare challenges.”


  1. Department of Health Policy, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.
  2. Society for Critical Care Medicine:
  3. Souba, W. Nutritional support. N Engl J Med 1997; 336: 41.
  4. Malone AM. Nutr Clin Pract. 2002; 17: 21-28.
  5. Matarese LE, Gottschlich MM (eds). Contemporary Nutrition Support Practice: A Clinical Guide. 1998: 79-98.
  6. Reeves MM. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2003; 57: 1530-1535
  7. The American Society for the Surgery of Trauma:
  8. The CARESCAPE R860 nutrition software works in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary clinical program and only as part of the ventilator and the respiratory gas module