Virtual nursing model yields quality improvements, patient engagement

The virtual nursing program instituted at MercyOne Des Moines (Iowa) during the COVID-19 pandemic yielded unexpected outcomes, including decreases in falls, medication duplication and missed care. Catheter-associated urinary tract infections also fell—to zero. The program used videoconferencing technology to connect patients, family members and care teams with a “virtual” nurse who assisted beside nurses by monitoring 18 patients remotely, reviewing charts, and facilitating communications with physicians, pharmacists and laboratories. MercyOne's program also allowed patients’ family members to take part in meetings to consider diagnoses, share test results and discuss treatment options. (HealthLeaders Media article, 6/14/21)