December 7, 2022

Virtual nursing program helps alleviate staff shortages

Editor's Note

Ocean University Medical Center, Brick, New Jersey, is testing an in-room, live-video virtual nursing platform to ensure that patients receive the attention they need and help address a shortage of nurses, the December 6 NJ.com reports.

The technology is being tested in a pilot program on the fourth floor of the hospital, where rooms are equipped with cameras and microphones.

The virtual nurses won’t be a replacement but a buffer to assist on-site staff with tasks that can be performed remotely, such as admission assessments, discharges, patient rounding, and patient and family education.

For privacy, virtual nurses do not continually monitor patients. The cameras are only turned on with the patient’s permission.

The pilot program has found that virtual nurses are handling some 20% to 25% of administrative work that nurses at the bedside normally would have done.

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