2 health systems roll out virtual nursing at 7 hospitals

St. Luke's and Saint Alphonsus health systems, both based in Boise, Idaho, have rolled out virtual nursing at seven hospitals, the Idaho Statesman reported.

St. Luke's offers the service at all six of its hospitals, while Saint Alphonsus has it in one of its medical-surgical units, according to the Sept. 29 story. The St. Luke's virtual nurses operate out of a centralized virtual command center, while the ones at Saint Alphonsus are located within the hospital.

The nurses communicate with patients via video to help with things like vital sign reviews, medication management and scheduling appointments, the newspaper reported.

"We try to free our nurses up to do the things that they need to do at the bedside, while we do all those other things virtually," St. Luke's telehealth director Cynthia Stevenson Newsom, BSN, RN, said in the story.

She told the news outlet the cameras are so good that they can zoom in to see a patient's wristband or a medication label.

More than 700 St. Luke's patient rooms are equipped for virtual care, while Saint Alphonsus hopes to expand virtual nursing to all four of its hospitals, according to the report.

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