Connected Care: How Atrium Health’s Virtual Nursing Observation Program Mitigates Clinician Burnout
With staff shortages persisting in healthcare, more care is being provided by less experienced nurses. To provide support to recent nursing graduates, Atrium Health in North Carolina launched its virtual nursing observation program in March 2021.
The program connects newer nurses with nursing veterans via video. Many experienced nurses are nearing retirement age or, due to burnout exacerbated by the pandemic, are interested in leaving medicine all together. The program gives nurses who no longer want to work at the bedside another way to care for patients that offers more flexibility.
The pandemic placed stressors not only on practicing nurses but also on those in training.
“Nursing school students didn’t get the same experience that some more seasoned nurses have, because their clinical rotations were cut short,” says Becky Fox, vice president and chief nursing informatics officer at Atrium Health.
Patient rooms use one of two setups to enable observation for the virtual nursing program. New facilities have audio and video capabilities, so a push of a button calls the virtual nurse, who appears on screen. Older facilities use wheeled poles with mounted cameras, speakers, microphones and monitors. Atrium Health uses the Caregility telehealth platform, Cerner cameras and software, and Microsoft Teams.
The organization was already using video in other areas, such as connecting to translators and disease education specialists. Atrium Health expects the use of video capabilities to develop further.
Becky Fox, Vice President and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Atrium Health
Andy Crowder, Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Analytics Officer, Atrium Health
- Atrium Health introduced its virtual nursing observation program in March 2021 to partner recent nurse graduates with experienced nurses.
- Caregility technology connects new nurses at the bedside with veteran nurses working remotely.
- The program gives new nurses increased support while providing veteran nurses with another way to provide patient care, preventing many who no longer want to work at the bedside from leaving the field entirely.