Virtual nursing up to 10 hospitals, 40 units at UnityPoint Health

Virtual nursing has grown to 10 hospitals and 40 inpatient units within West Des Moines, Iowa-based UnityPoint Health, KWWL reported.

The health system now has 26 virtual nurses, who help with tasks like admissions and discharges and talk to patients while in-person nurses are doing physical tasks, according to the July 7 story.

Annalissa Till, RN, the virtual nurse at UnityPoint's Finley Hospital in Dubuque, Iowa, said she also schedules follow-up appointments and catches medication errors. "It's also been very beneficial to the patients on education," she told the news outlet. She said she spends about 30 to 40 minutes with each patient, usually more than in-person nurses can.

The virtual nursing program kicked off a year ago at Finley Hospital and UnityPoint's Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Iowa, and has expanded from there, according to the story.

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