A post seizure patient was being monitored remotely and the virtual nurse (VN) could tell the patient was going to throw up. The expert VN was able to walk the bedside nurse through the steps to handle the situation – including fetching suction and calling the doctor. The doctor was able to help prevent the patient from aspirating. This gave peace of mind to the bedside nurse who was dealing with this situation for the first time.
Our panelists shared a number of best practices when it comes to building out your own virtual nursing program – but their biggest advice was to, “just do it!” While starting a program can be daunting, they both feel that the benefits have outweighed the work.
Some of their tips are:
So, as early innovators in this space, where do they see their programs going in the future? Unity Point is focused on scale and standardization. They’re currently focused on creating a standardized, sustainable structure across their enterprise when it comes to technology, job descriptions, and everything else operational that goes with virtual nursing including creating a centralized leadership structure for the program. UCHealth is looking at expanding use cases of the program including virtual specialist care for areas such as wound care and respiratory therapy where they currently lack adequate staff across the system. They’re also exploring how a virtual nurse could assist with dual sign off activities such as checking blood & verifying high risk medications. Their ideal future state is one where an expert nurse is always a “call away” for a novice nurse who, for instance, is working night shift and has never placed an NG tube before, creating a culture of support and mentorship in all care settings.
Interested in your own virtual nursing program but not sure where to start? Our AvaSure RN’s can complete a free, on-site assessment of your facility and help in creating a business case based on your individual use cases. Request an assessment here and we will be in touch. We look forward to helping you transition to this exciting new model of supporting nurses through virtual care.