Category: Featured

How AI in healthcare could change patient care

ai in healthcare, virtual sitting,

In recent memory, no technology has so quickly penetrated the cultural zeitgeist as artificial intelligence (AI). At an ever-increasing pace, AI is being hailed as the hero capable of fixing everything from world hunger to climate change. Companies across the globe are racing to utilize AI to automate, simplify, and rationalize manual tasks across every industry, including healthcare.  

At the same time, healthcare has been grappling with tremendous cost pressure & staffing shortages for years. Over the past decade, hospitals have focused on utilizing technology to help drive significant change through: 

  1. Digitization of documentation and communication tools
  2. Consolidation of health systems in search of economies of scale 
  3. Virtualization of traditional care models to include remote caregivers and stakeholders 

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic poured gasoline over the fire of those pressures; and hospitals quickly implemented changes to adapt.  In many cases, integrated tools are not delivering the simplicity needed; shared data is not delivering the actionable insights that caregivers need; and automation is not allowing care teams to scale that care to an increasing number of patients.   

Clearly, there’s no “silver bullet” to remedy all the chaos and pressure.  Many key plays need to be run, integrations must deepen, technology needs to be more open to 3rd party access, and virtual experience needs to seamlessly merge with care workflows.   

How can AI in healthcare help?

As an industry, we seem to latch on to the hope of the next big thing. Waves of opportunity have come our way with Meaningful Use, Actionable Insights, multi-use case infrastructure like Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), and more. What does that mean for AI? How can we focus our efforts to soak up as much of the wave as it rolls in?   

There are a few key questions we need to answer in determining if utilizing AI in healthcare will truly be the savior it needs, or if it’s just another passing technology fad that won’t deliver on its promises:  

What is AI? 
What use case examples of AI in healthcare are primed for change? 
What risks need to be top of mind when implementing AI in healthcare settings? How can those risks be mitigated? 

What is AI? 

Let’s tackle what that term, “artificial intelligence,” means.  Promising examples of AI in healthcare settings include references to the following technologies:  

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP) – helps take data from unstructured to structured 
  • Conversational Bots – virtual agents that manage conversations with patients via text, IM, etc. 
  • Predictive analytics – mines data to plug into algorithms that project things like patient risk 
  • Ambient Listening – listens to live audio to turn conversations into notes or identify risks 
  • Computer Vision – watches live video to identify patterns or risks 
  • Remote Patient Monitoring – uses data from medical devices to anticipate risks or care needs 

What use case examples of AI in healthcare are primed for change?

Despite AI’s newfound popularity, some technologies on the list above have been around in healthcare for years. NLP is being used to turn dictated notes into actionable work, like orders, and Predictive Analytics are employed by Populational Health technologies to help target specific populations for focused care based on their risk.  

So, if AI in healthcare isn’t anything new, why is it so prevalent in today’s industry discussions? For one, the underlying technology has changed and improved very quickly, making it a more powerful tool. For another, the volume of data needed to improve AI models is becoming more manageable to achieve. As a perfect example, ChatGPT-4 took social media by storm as people began asking for AI to produce legal contracts, bedtime stories for their kids, and essays for homework assignments. Mere weeks later, new forms of this AI were appearing as Chrome extensions that were already better, faster, and stronger than the ones before. The more AI is used, the more valuable it will become because every use provides meaningful learning. 

All this progress makes the potential for AI in healthcare more optimistic. Experts agree that, among other things, AI will be key in supporting the push towards more impactful virtual care models. More specifically, this will be achieved through the use of predictive analytics, computer vision, and ambient listening.  

During the time that AI entered the conversation, two other important advancements also happened: 

  • Technology continued to get faster, stronger, and cheaper. Cameras, microphones, speakers, and other equipment necessary to facilitate virtual interactions are now available in more patient rooms than ever before. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic opened patients’ and caregivers’ eyes to virtual care, making these interactions more trusted and commonplace. 

AI can help turn heavily user dependent devices into seamlessly integrated, clinical workflow-enabling devices. We are entering a moment where the true potential of virtual care is being unlocked, facilitated by the growing prospect of the availability of an AI-enabled virtual care device in every hospital room.  

What risks need to be top of mind when implementing AI in healthcare settings?  

While one may not be worried about what’s at stake when using AI to help write a bedtime story, the stakes of healthcare are much higher. AI-enabled devices in every hospital room could bring virtual care to life, but there are important questions to consider. 

  • Are cameras and speakers now the equivalent of a door to the patient room?  
  • Who decides when the door should be open or closed?   
  • How do patients, staff, and visitors know that the doors are open, and what does that mean?   
  • What happens if multiple virtual care team members try to open that door and walk in at the same time?   
  • Which patients do, or do not, qualify for virtual care models and participation? 
  • The list goes on…. 

So, is AI just a short-lived buzzword, or are there clinically relevant use cases that you can take advantage of? Industry experience tells us to avoid getting our hopes up, else our belief in a healthy future might be dashed. We now know that failure is not an option. If we can all see the challenges for what they are and take a mindful approach to what and how we implement, then AI in healthcare may be the ‘silver bullet’ we’ve been promised for years. 

How Holzer improved care while progressing from virtual sitting to virtual nursing

By Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN, Chief Clinical Officer

The Goal:
• Improve patient safety
• Reduce fall risk
• Increase access to specialty care
• Free up CNA and bedside nurses for other activities

The Results:
1. Success of the virtual sitting program:
• Saved costs
• Improved patient and staff satisfaction
2. Progression into virtual nursing:
• Utilization of the same technology
• Further cost savings
• Enhanced patient and staff satisfaction

Nursing shortages and associated costs are not going away. While RN turnover has dropped from 22.5% in 2022 to 18.4% in 2023, the turnover rate for nursing assistants increased from 33.7% to 41.8% in the same period. And the ongoing costs as nurses continue to leave the profession are high. Each RN that leaves costs an average hospital $56,350, totaling roughly $4M – $6M per year, according to the 2024 NSI National Health Care Retention and RN Staffing Report. Bottom line: nurses need sustained support or the profession will continue to decline in well-being and in numbers.

These challenges hit particularly hard in smaller, community-based organizations. Holzer Health System is a not-for-profit, multi-disciplinary regional health system that provides the full continuum of care for its communities with locations throughout southeastern Ohio and western West Virginia. The system includes two hospital locations, including a rural critical access hospital, as well as multiple clinical locations, long-term care entities, and more than 180 providers in more than 30 medical specialties.

Matthew L. Hemphill MSN, RN, CNML, Director of Acute Care Nursing at Holzer Health System, described the problem: “We want to keep as many of our patients here rather than transferring them out to the nearest tertiary center two hours away. While we did have a small pool of one-to-one sitters, staffing was a challenge. Many needs were going unmet. There were numerous patients who required more monitoring than we could offer.”

Improving care, beginning with virtual sitting

The COVID-19 pandemic made matters worse, so Holzer had to come up with a workable plan that would allow it to augment its existing staff while keeping a larger volume of patients safe. 

Holzer undertook a major initiative to improve patient safety, reduce fall risk and increase access to specialty care by securing a grant through the FCC COVID-19 Telehealth Program to implement an inpatient virtual sitting solution.

With the aid of the grant, Holzer implemented AvaSure’s virtual care technology to support virtual sitters, who watch over patients via video-and-audio connections to enhance patient safety, such as reducing patient falls and elopement. The health system implemented 16 devices, including four ceiling-mounted devices, 12 mobile devices and a centralized monitoring station. The primary goal was to enable and expand the use of virtual sitters, freeing up CNAs and bedside nurses for other care activities.

After seeing the virtual sitting program’s success in saving costs, as well as improving patient and staff satisfaction, the health system progressed into virtual nursing using the same technology platform. AvaSure’s intelligent virtual care platform enables virtual sitting, virtual nursing and specialty medical consults.

Progressing to inpatient virtual nursing and realizing multiple improvements

When Holzer progressed from virtual sitting to virtual nursing, one key principle it followed was to structure the use of virtual sitters and nurses so that all nurses work at the top of their licenses. This enables a care model where RNs, CNAs, and VRNs perform the most-appropriate patient care activities based on their skills and experience.

Using the AvaSure platform, scarce specialists in neurology, nephrology, diabetes education and wound care can serve more patients in both facilities, the main Gallipolis Hospital and the rural critical access Jackson Hospital.  

For example, Holzer has one certified wound and ostomy nurse (CWON) serving both facilities, located 30 miles apart. Natalie Gardner BSN, RN, CWON, CFCS, described the benefits: “This has provided a way for me to do video consults with the Jackson facility which saves precious time as well as mileage. The staff take the device to the patient’s room, remove their dressings, and position the patient so that I can see the wound. This leaves me more time to spend with all patients by eliminating the time it would take to drive to Jackson and back.” Giving patients easier access to specialists improves care and facilitates early intervention to prevent transfers from the critical access hospital to the main facility.

Continuing to hone the virtual nursing program

For community health systems, the strain on resources will continue for the foreseeable future. Progressing on a path from virtual sitting to virtual nursing extends precious resources to enable high quality patient care, while allowing all nursing staff to work at the top of their skills and licenses. Holzer is continuing its path to expand its virtual nursing program to encompass more activities across more inpatient care units. At every stage, Holzer is delivering better patient outcomes while enabling a care model that gives nurses more time for their most satisfying work – spending time on direct patient care.

The hospital room of the future: Episodic™ Care solution powered by AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform 

virtual care platform

Caregivers can now provide thoughtful care from anywhere with a fast, reliable two-way connection that supports virtual care for admission, discharge, specialty consults, rounding, and more.

AvaSure Episodic™ Solution

Virtual care is essential to adapt

As healthcare systems grapple with rising costs, staffing shortages, and increasing complexity of patient care, the urgency for change is at an all-time high. With a staggering 22.7% turnover rate among staff, hospitals struggle to uphold their commitment to patient care. Amidst these challenges, there’s a growing recognition that digital transformation measures are essential.

Hospitals across the world are adopting virtual care solutions to alleviate the mounting pressures facing healthcare systems globally. This signals a brighter future for both patients and healthcare providers alike. Using technology to facilitate remote consultations, monitoring, and support, virtual care offers a pathway toward improved staff satisfaction, enhanced patient experiences, better health outcomes, and more efficient hospital operations. With the right virtual care platform, hospitals can redefine patient experiences and revolutionize the way healthcare services are delivered.

The path to virtual care isn’t always clear

As hospitals and health systems embark on the journey toward the hospital room of the future, the road is fraught with obstacles, requiring hospitals to confront complex issues head-on. Historically, hospitals have adopted point solutions to address specific virtual care needs, resulting in fragmented systems and siloed approaches. Now, there is a growing recognition of the need to consolidate these disparate solutions into integrated virtual care platforms that can scale across the entire enterprise. Such endeavors require a significant investment, posing financial constraints for resource-strapped healthcare institutions. Without a clear adoption model that demonstrates ROI, hospitals struggle to build the business case for virtual care, further complicating the decision-making process. 

Amidst this backdrop, hospitals are piloting virtual care platforms, each with varying levels of success and clinical adoption. The stakes are high, as the initial impression of these pilots can significantly influence the trust that caregivers have in these technologies to deliver on their promise. Hospitals must tread carefully, ensuring that their chosen solutions and partners not only meet the clinical needs of their patients but also garner widespread acceptance and support from healthcare professionals. Support from clinical, IT, and finance departments paves the way for successful implementation and integration into routine care delivery practices.

Episodic™ Care solution powered by AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform

Step into the hospital of the future with AvaSure’s new virtual care solution, AvaSure Episodic. Designed in close collaboration with clinicians and technical experts, AvaSure Episodic delivers a reliable two-way video solution designed to scale to the entire enterprise. 

With the AvaSure Episodic solution, caregivers gain full control over the quality of remote, consultative patient interactions. It enables two-way video with group calling and polite entry, allowing for specialty consults, admitting and discharging patients, rounding, and more. Virtual care with the Episodic solution frees up time for nursing and support staff, enables seamless remote nursing workflows, and allows collaboration with specialists across the country. With AvaSure, clinicians can achieve more without stretching themselves thin.


  • Group calling to include multiple parties: Care teams can easily invite family members, interpreters, caregivers, and consulting specialists from multiple locations to join a group session, saving time and making conversations more efficient.
  • Polite entry to patient rooms: Caregivers respect patients’ privacy by notifying patients before entering the room virtually with a doorbell chime, allowing them time to accept the call.  
  • Web-based access: Neither caregivers nor families need to download anything – all access to episodic care sessions is delivered via a web browser, whether on mobile or desktop.
  • Fast, reliable two-way video: Clinicians admit and discharge patients remotely, engage with them on rounds, connect with specialists in other locations, and provide training and mentoring to other staff members using portable, flexible devices with high-fidelity cameras.
  • Integration with Epic: Caregivers can easily launch virtual patient visits from Epic without disrupting their workflow, creating a seamless experience. 

The ability for a variety of caregivers to connect with a patient, whether it is a nurse, physician, specialist, or case manager, opens a whole realm of possibilities to drive better patient experience, more efficient operations, and reduced burden on bedside staff. AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform allows healthcare teams to seamlessly integrate in-person and virtual caregivers, promoting continuity of care and ensuring treatment plans are tailored to individual needs. Interpreters and family members can also participate in virtual group interactions to simplify communication. By leveraging AvaSure to involve a diverse range of caregivers in patient care, healthcare organizations can optimize resource utilization, streamline workflows, and alleviate pressure on frontline staff, ultimately enhancing the quality of care and patient outcomes.

The AvaSure Episodic solution can support a variety of virtual care workflows for virtual nurses, physicians, specialists, and other caregivers, including:

  • Admission and discharge documentation: Virtual caregivers streamline the admission and discharge documentation process by securely reviewing, capturing, and updating patient records remotely. This reduces administrative burden, minimizes errors, and ensures accurate and efficient documentation, enabling smoother transitions of care for patients.
  • Patient education: Patients can benefit from virtual education sessions delivered by healthcare professionals, empowering them with knowledge and resources to better understand their conditions, treatments, and self-care strategies, decreasing the risk of readmissions. 
  • Novice nurse mentorship: Novice nurses receive guidance, feedback, and support from experienced mentors remotely, often offering a second set of eyes for high-risk medications or patient assessments. Mentors can observe, assess, and provide tailored coaching to help novice nurses develop clinical skills, confidence, and competence in their practice, ultimately improving patient outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of care delivery.
  • Specialty consults: Care teams can easily connect with specialty consultants through virtual care platforms, enabling timely consultations and interdisciplinary collaboration, ensuring that patients receive the most appropriate and effective care tailored to their needs.
  • Proactive rounding: Virtual rounding enables care teams to conduct proactive check-ins with patients remotely, ensuring ongoing monitoring of their condition, progress, and satisfaction. Through video conferencing or virtual visits, healthcare providers can address any concerns, provide emotional support, and reinforce treatment plans, promoting continuity of care and patient-centered communication.

One platform can change everything 

The ideal virtual care platform must meet the criteria set by both clinical and IT leaders. In addition to essential hardware and monitoring software, today’s virtual care platforms must meet increasingly high enterprise-level IT standards. They should operate on open, scalable infrastructure to seamlessly integrate with existing systems, ensuring minimal downtime and optimal connectivity for care teams. They should include robust analytics and an intelligence layer for generating clear, measurable outcomes, along with AI capabilities to enhance patient safety and alleviate the workload of virtual staff. Most importantly, access to comprehensive support is essential, particularly for clinical teams navigating change management and envisioning a sustainable virtual care strategy. That’s a tall order. 

virtual care platform

AvaSure is the only virtual care platform that fulfills each of these crucial requirements, continuously innovating while demonstrating a proven record of clinical outcomes. Hospitals use AvaSure for AI-powered continuous monitoring, episodic care, and building a greater ecosystem of solutions and workflows that transform the hybrid care delivery model. Our team of experienced nursing and healthcare experts collaborate with customers to shape a vision for the future and bring it to life. 

One platform can change everything. AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Platform combines continuous monitoring and episodic care solutions designed to free up more time for nursing and support staff, enable seamless remote care workflows, and ensure better outcomes for patients. 

Read the press release. 

The 5 stages of adopting intelligent virtual care: AvaSure Adoption Model

By Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN

Over the past year, there have been numerous publications, pilots, and discussions on virtual care. Many organizations are planning for a future where virtual team members are seamlessly integrated into care teams, where a device exists in every room enabling episodic and continuous video visits and where technology helps to augment nursing staff. However, amongst these conversations there is little clarity or direction on how to get there. Throughout AvaSure’s 5,000+ deployments at over 1,100 customer sites, we have collected best practices on implementing virtual care programs that deliver real results and outcomes. We employ clinicians at all levels of our organization who are engaged in forums across the country, led by AONL, AMSN, ATA, and others, on the creation of these virtual teams. Based on our work with early adopters and these industry experts, we have designed a prescriptive path to achieving the future of a fully integrated virtual care facility.

AvaSure’s Intelligent Virtual Care Adoption Model

Defining the 5 stages

The AvaSure Intelligent Virtual Care Adoption Model consists of five progressive stages, each of which builds on the foundation of the prior stage to financially fuel the next step, generating real patient outcomes at every stage.

Stage 1: Implement virtual sitting

The virtual care adoption model begins with implementing virtual sitters, who are trained, unlicensed personnel who use video and audio connections to watch over patients aiming to improve overall safety. The primary goals of this stage are to enhance patient safety while replacing up to 75% of one-to-one sitters for at-risk patients with virtual sitters. The clinical evidence demonstrating virtual sitting is superior to in-person sitters for preventing falls is irrefutable. The return on investment is robust, stemming from increased staffing efficiency at a ratio of 1-to-12 instead of 1-to-1, along with substantial cost savings resulting from reduced falls. These savings can be directed towards improving the hospital’s bottom line or reinvested to support subsequent phases of the adoption model.

Stage 2: Optimize virtual sitting

In the second stage, hospitals can look to optimize their virtual sitting program through expansion to other use cases and care units. Beyond falls, other established use cases include elopement, substance use withdrawal, low/moderate suicide risk, pediatrics, workplace violence prevention, and more. The staffing efficiency of virtual sitting allows hospitals to expand the reach of monitoring from what is feasible to cover with 1-to-1 staffing and cover additional use cases covering up to 20% and 25% of patient beds.

Upon recognizing the success and cost savings of virtual sitting, many organizations choose to centralize their monitoring across the health system leading to further efficiencies of scale. For example, Trinity Health implemented AvaSure system-wide, covering 25 states in just nine months. Patient monitoring is conducted from two central “super hub” locations. At this scale, the health system was able to provide 1.8 million hours of virtual sitting at 85% less cost ($24 million) in 2021.

Finally, integrating artificial intelligence (AI) to supplement virtual staff assists in alleviating the cognitive burden on virtual care staff. This improvement not only automatically alerts staff to potential risks of adverse events but also contributes to better outcomes.

Stage 3: Launch virtual nursing with return-on-investment from virtual sitting

Upon realizing substantial labor savings and cost avoidance through enhanced patient safety, these funds can be employed to initiate a virtual nursing program utilizing the same devices and platform.

A fundamental goal of any virtual nursing program is to allow nurses to work at the top of their license. This is not possible when there is a shortage of unlicensed personnel. Having freed up personnel from 1-to-1 sitting tasks, they are better able to support bedside RNs in a model of care that virtual nursing can also support. Many facilities choose to start with admission and discharge support, where a virtual nurse helps with the documentation and administrative tasks, supporting the bedside RN. However, based on organizational goals – there are a multitude of use cases virtual nursing can pilot with.

Holzer Health System, a two-hospital system in Ohio, is currently in stage 3 with an inpatient virtual care program. The health system implemented the program to address challenges associated with patient safety as well as issues with patient access to specialty care. The hospital installed a total of 16 monitoring devices, providing both virtual sitting and virtual specialty care from a central hub. “I am the only certified wound and ostomy nurse for inpatient facilities at Gallipolis and Jackson.This has provided a way for me to do video consults with the Jackson facility, which saves precious time as well as mileage,” said Natalie Gardner, BSN, RN, CWON, CFCS.  

Stage 4: Optimize virtual nursing

After a virtual nursing pilot demonstrates its efficacy in enhancing specific areas such as nurse satisfaction and retention, expediting patient flow, or reducing adverse events, then it’s time to scale up.

One example of an AvaSure customer that has optimized its virtual nursing program is UCHealth, a nonprofit healthcare organization based in Colorado that consists of 13 hospitals and 2,000 inpatient beds across the state.

Three years following the success of its virtual sitting program in enhancing patient care, UCHealth broadened its virtual care capabilities by including a virtual nursing program. This program, facilitated by experienced nurses, assists clinicians in promptly identifying hospitalized patients exhibiting signs of deterioration. This early detection enables clinicians to administer timely treatment, ultimately leading to improved patient outcomes.

UCHealth has 693 AvaSure devices (both mobile and fixed room devices) installed across the health system. Senior, expert nurses at the Virtual Health Center can visualize ICU patients across the health system as well as patients outside ICU who have a rapid response call activated. The health system utilizes AI deterioration algorithms to proactively intervene. This has led to improved sepsis detection, and decreased code blues, but most importantly, Dr. Hemali Patel, Associate Chief Medical Officer, explained the virtual care team has helped save the lives of 786 patients together with the frontline staff.

Stage 5: System-wide adoption

The culmination of intelligent virtual care adoption will include a device in every room and have virtual team members seamlessly integrated into every care team. Technology is being used to provide exceptional experiences for both the patient and caregivers, helping to continuously improve outcomes, fully optimize the labor force, keep labor costs manageable, and bring joy back to caregiving.  

The Key to Success: The AvaSure Advantage

Faced with high labor costs and a dwindling supply of workers, many hospitals across the nation are in various stages of virtual nursing adoption – a number that is sure to rise as health systems’ operating challenges persist. As they do, the primary use case for virtual nursing today – rounding, admissions and discharge, patient education, documentation support – will be joined by other applications of this emerging technology. However, success may seem unattainable without a coherent business case, buy in of clinical and IT teams, and achievable KPIs. 

AvaSure has the expertise to guide hospitals through their virtual care adoption journeys. We have a platform with the necessary technology to support a multitude of use cases, but more importantly we have the clinical expertise to help develop your program from the ground up. From policy and procedure development, workflow design and change management support, our people will be the difference in making your program a success. Backed with data and insights, we can help hospitals stair step your way to the deployment of an intelligent virtual care platform, helping you step into a future where cutting-edge technology and compassionate care converge.

Virtual nursing: 7 Step roadmap for how to get started

Including Virtual Nursing Best Practices from AvaSure’s Experienced Clinical Support Team

AvaSure Guardian® 2-Way Mobile Device with virtual nurse

Hospitals across the U.S. are challenged with nursing shortages, a rise in patient complexity and unprecedented cost challenges. Nurses are being stretched too thin, constantly asked to do more with less. This environment is causing 52% of nurses to consider leaving the bedside at a time when labor is already a challenge. Hospital leadership is being forced to think differently about how technology can help create a new model of care delivery.

89% of hospital leaders say they’re considering some form of virtual nursing, but only 2% have implemented a program – why the gap? Many don’t know where to start.

Are you in the 2% that have already started their virtual nursing journey? We can help no matter what phase you’re at! Schedule a complementary on-site assessment to get started with AvaSure.

For those still concepting, with our extensive experience helping over 1,000 hospitals across the U.S. with their virtual sitting and virtual nursing programs – we’ve put together a 7-step roadmap for starting your TeleNurse™ program.

1. Identify your facilities unique pain points

It’s important to identify your biggest challenges within your organization. What’s unique about your facility and where should you focus efforts?

To help identify the top pain points, gather a group of cross-functional stakeholders including bedside staff. Ask them to provide feedback on what they are struggling with day-to-day.

Expect to hear things like:

  1. Retirement vacancies causing a lack of highly experienced staff
  2. Burnout & exhaustion of staff members of all types – from nurses to CNAs to physicians
  3. Novice nurses feeling overwhelmed and unsure if they’re doing a good job
  4. A rise in patient complexity
  5. Quality metric declines across key areas
  6. Patient throughput challenges & bottlenecks

Once you’ve cataloged what your staff is dealing with, you can get to prioritizing.

2. Prioritize The challenges with the greatest impact

Once you understand challenges across the facility, work to identify which is creating the biggest drain on the system.

We see two models of virtual nursing that customers are starting with first to address their top challenges – based on ease and the biggest impact:

  1. Clinical Resource TeleNurse™ Model: a virtual nurse offloads documentation burden, giving bedside teams more time for direct, hands-on patient care
    • Admission & discharge support
    • Medication reconciliation
    • Patient & family education
    • 2-nurse sign-off
    • Expert consultation
  2. Expert Oversight TeleNurse™ Model: a virtual nurse oversees a cohort of complex patients providing clinical insight & nurse mentorship
    • Review & respond to clinical triggers from EHR and/or physiological monitoring
    • Expert nurses provide guidance and mentorship to novice nurses on the unit
    • Proactive patient rounding
    • Support satellite facilities with expert interventionists/specialists

We are confident one of these virtual nurse models would be a great place to start and to solve your greatest challenges.

3. Build your business case

Building a business case to sell your organization on starting a virtual nursing program is essential to ongoing success. The collaboration between clinical and IT leadership is key in this stage and to document how an IT infrastructure can help support clinical needs, not just today but for the future.

Once you’ve identified the model of virtual nursing with the most impact for your facility, begin to identify goals and benchmarks for your program. 

Examples include:

  • HCAHPS Patient Experience Scores
  • 30-day readmission rates
  • Staff satisfaction
  • Rapid response & code blue rates
  • Time to discharge

Still not sure where to start? You’re not alone. Hear from our customers who’ve kicked off their programs and have already seen early results to help get you thinking.

Best practice from AvaSure’s clinical team: Be sure to include feedback from front line staff and managers, bringing them along in the process. Their buy in will be essential long-term. Make sure your care teams understand this program is designed to help them, not add more work to their plate or eliminate jobs.

4. Select a vendor partner

The final piece of your business case will be to choose a virtual care partner that can help you achieve your long-term goals. It’s important to select a partner that has both clinical & technical expertise and will help grow your program over time.

When evaluating vendors, be sure to consider:

  1. Platform ease of use
    • Be sure to select a vendor that offers a platform that supports multiple clinical use cases that is easy for nurses to use.
  2. Support
    • There is a lot of clinical change & workflow management when implementing a change to the care model, select a vendor with expertise who will partner with your clinical teams throughout this process.
    • IT teams also have a lot on their plates and shouldn’t be overburdened with implementing a new platform. Consider a vendor who provides robust technical support including project management and 24/7 support – not just at the time of deployment, but throughout the partnership.
  3. Demonstrated outcomes
    • In any emerging area, a lot a new solutions will become available with little experience. In the clinical space, it’s more important than ever to select a partner with demonstrated experience in delivering outcomes for our patients.
  4. Current technology
    • Vendor consolidation is key for maximizing the impact of current spend and reducing technology duplicity. Before adding a new vendor, consider if any current solutions – such as your TeleSitter ® solution – also offer virtual nursing solutions before investing in additional technology.

5. Roll out your first use case

Now that you’ve identified the challenges, started formulating a business case with IT and have leadership on board it’s time to start building your program. You can start with a single unit or department if you’d like.

It’s good to start small, helping to demonstrate early success. Consider perhaps starting with peak hours – such as only between 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. to help ease staff into the program and staff the virtual team successfully.

But be flexible, consider that you may identify in real time that this isn’t the most impactful area to be addressed. Be willing to adapt and change quickly. It’s imperative that you get some quick wins under your belt to gain buy in from front line staff and garner continued support from leadership, so an agile approach can help.

When deciding what unit to start on, think about the following:

  • Highest churn unit for admission & discharges – may be a high need for offload of documentation
  • Unit with highest amount of novice nursing staff – may benefit from expert oversight & mentorship
  • Unit with highest percentage of travel nurses – may benefit from expert oversight or clinical resource
  • Considering using virtual nursing for specialists that low staffed – nutritionists, diabetic management, wound care, social workers/case managers & more
  • Assist with morning rounds on units with residents using virtual nurse to facilitate documentation to communicate with family
  • Units with high complexity patients allowing virtual nurse to do purposeful rounding being a second set of eyes on patients
  • In conjunction with units that have deterioration or sepsis protocols and/or wearable monitoring to help reduce false alarms and identify early signs of adverse events

Be sure to build in a feedback loop to hear directly from front line staff on how the program is going and have a way to share wins across the facility and with leadership. This positive word of mouth is what will really sell the program.

6. Share results with stakeholders and spread the word

After a few weeks or months, ensure you hold a forum with leadership and the cross functional teams involved in the early discussions to update them on your progress. Show how the pilot has driven change against your key goals or metrics. AvaSure’s clinical team will help you pull your data and showcase your progress.

Tip from AvaSure’s Customer Success Team: it’s important to have a baseline before starting so you can demonstrate change, be sure to log all metrics before implementation in addition to any financials.

Best practice from AvaSure’s clinical team: Include great catches & stories from front line leaders. While metric moving is great, it’s the stories that will win the hearts of your teams.

7. Scale up your program – You’re really doing It

Now that you’ve demonstrated success (and it was easy!) identify additional units to cover or consider expanding to a second model of virtual nursing. But be reasonable about what your team can take on at once. Go slowly & deliberately, making sure your teams have a venue to speak up if it’s too much.

Worried about staffing your virtual nurse program? Learn about hosted options if you don’t have adequate talent to pull from in your area.

A successful virtual nursing program can not only help with labor challenges, helping to optimize the productivity of your staff but it can also help to drive nurse satisfaction & retention. Nurses will feel more supported, get more time at the bedside, and leave feeling accomplished. AvaSure can help support you through every step of scoping, implementing, and scaling a virtual nursing program. With 15% of our staff being RNs, we understand the unique challenges of care systems today and have a robust clinical team to help from business case development through implementation, metric tracking, expansion.

AvaSure Recognized as #1 for Cost Savings in KLAS Research Report

Earlier this month, KLAS, a research and insights firm focused on improving healthcare, published its first-ever Emerging Solutions Top 20 report highlighting new solutions with the greatest potential to disrupt and improve healthcare. For the first time, KLAS asked 16 prominent members of the healthcare community with broad HIT expertise to read all current KLAS reports on emerging technology and rate their perception of the solutions based on their potential to impact healthcare’s Quadruple Aim of improved outcomes, reduced cost of care, improved patient experience and improved clinician experience.

AvaSure not only made the list, it was identified as the No. 1 solution for reducing healthcare costs.

As KLAS bases its performance reports on customer experience, we want to thank you for believing in AvaSure as a trusted partner, making it possible for us to achieve this recognition. We pride ourselves on providing a cost-efficient platform and a wrap-around clinical program to ensure you can navigate the perfect storm brewing in healthcare today.

This recognition shows that we are fulfilling our original mission of lower costs through fewer sitters, a more efficient and successful means of improving patient safety and quality of care.

We aim to do so much more.

Our current challenge is helping solve healthcare’s staffing crisis. AvaSure’s virtual care platform enables health systems to optimize and augment their labor force with a team of virtual monitors and RNs who support the bedside teams with tasks such as admission, discharge and patient education. This gives nurses peace of mind and more time for direct patient care.