Virtual Nurse Technology Comes to Stormont Vail Health

During a hospital stay, you and your family might have many questions about the symptoms you are experiencing or your what your treatment plan involves. However, your nurse may not be immediately available because they are taking care of another patient.

But soon, a nurse will always be at your bedside for help — a virtual nurse, that is.

Virtual nurse technology will provide bedside nursing assistance at Stormont Vail in areas where patients are recovering from conditions such as stroke as well as surgical procedures. This new technology will improve communication between patients and nurses, and enhance patient care during a hospital stay.

Streamlining Patient Care

In addition to the nurses who provide hands-on bedside care, patients and their families will be able to interact with a nurse behind the screen any time through the monitor installed at the patient’s bedside. The technology allows more streamlined patient care and faster responses to patient requests by helping out with some of the tasks of a bedside nurse or physician.

Virtual nurses can answer questions, educate patients, send discharge instructions, and display X-ray test results on the screen.

“The virtual nurse will also be another eye and ear for the patient, helping explain their plan of care or updating their family that may come in after the physician has already done their rounds,” said Tracy Duran, BSN, RN, nurse manager, who is overseeing the development of the virtual nursing program.

Stormont Vail registered nurses will operate the virtual nurse system. These nurses receive the same training and orientation as bedside nurses, in addition to extra training on how to use the virtual nurse technology.

Enhancing Patient Safety While Prioritizing Privacy

The virtual nurse technology provides nurses who are operating the system with high-definition images of patient rooms. This allows them to have a clear view of everything in the room — such as medication labels, medication bags, pumps, and patient medical charts. In addition to enhancing patient safety, this allows virtual nurses to assist with tasks that require two nurses, such as cosigning medications.

A virtual patient care technician (PCT) will also be available to monitor patient safety in order to decrease patient falls. They also watch for other safety issues that may arise when patients are alone in their rooms. PCTs are able to speak to patients in their rooms to redirect them when they see safety concerns.

Patient privacy is also a priority, which is why monitoring is done in real-time and not recorded. Discretion is used during bathing or other sensitive procedures.

Putting Patients First

Duran adds that one of the big benefits of virtual nurse monitoring is that staff will be able to perform intermittent hourly monitoring on patients from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. without disturbing their sleep. This will allow patients to have a more restful night’s sleep.

At the end of the day, virtual nurses will add an extra layer of attention to make sure you are comfortable and well cared for during your hospital stay.

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