For decades, bedside nurses have steadily taken on additional administrative duties. In the midst of staffing shortages, those added duties run the risk of overtaxing nurses. By eliminating many of the administrative tasks that nurses have become responsible for, HCA Healthcare is providing an environment where caregivers can concentrate on delivering hands-on patient care through using the Clinical Service Group’s in-room Virtual Care Model.
This virtual access to clinicians is designed to leverage technology to supplement the administrative tasks once done by bedside nurses. That reduced workload translates to improved working conditions for nurses, which in turn ensures superior care for patients.
“We’re starting with this virtual nursing pilot across multiple facilities so that we can best learn how to support our patients and our nurses,” says Susan McGory, vice president, Customer Relationship Management, HCA Healthcare.
Unlike the common interpretation of virtual nursing, or remote triage nursing, where patients connect with nurses and other caregivers via their computers, mobile devices or phones. The innovative in-room Virtual Care Model is designed to be used in the hospital room after patients are admitted.
It uses in-room televisions and cameras, allowing a virtual nurse, based at home, to interact with each patient within the facility. They cover the clerical details of admissions, document and verify medications, and handle discharge preparation.
“That really allows us to reduce the burden on that [bedside] nurse and increase patient satisfaction, because they’re able to spend more time with that individual nurse who is on that television screen asking some questions,” says Susan.
“We are taking our best practices and the lessons learned from that telephone triage and translating it into the facilities,” says Tabitha Anglea, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, AMB-BC, CCCTM, CCRN-K, LNC, assistant vice president, Customer Relationship Management, Clinical Operations, HCA Healthcare.
The program will also help HCA Healthcare facilities address other pressing issues, including recruitment and retention in med-surg and progressive care units. And it provides yet another career path for nurses who may no longer want to work bedside.