Nemours Children’s Health System performs ‘virtual rounding’ for coordinated care during COVID

Healthcare IT News has an article about Nemours Children’s Health System using multiple technologies to physically distance, reduce contact and save on Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).

Here is an excerpt:

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida-based Nemours Children’s Health System needed to quickly revamp (patient) rounding. They used existing systems and infrastructure to avoid unnecessary contact and PPE use. How? Nemours combined the power of several technologies to create its solution:

  • The VidyoConnect secure app for rounding, team communication and teaching;
  • Epic monitor for remote access to in-room cameras for both the health system’s Clinical Logistics Center and the eICU at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children;
  • Milestone XProtect (video management software), from any desktop or laptop computer enterprise-wide that enables access to in-room cameras.

Along with repurposing the health system’s existing Cisco phone (IP network) system, Milestone enables physicians to remotely examine patients and communicate with parents who may be sequestered in the patient’s room during the COVID-19 crisis.

Cohesive Care Coordination

“First we looked at the typical large group of people (12 to 14) who do daily hallway rounding on patients. We wanted to take advantage of the technology we had in place to reduce to a maximum of three people rounding on a given patient,” said Carey Officer, operational vice president of Nemours CareConnect and the Center for Health Delivery Innovation at Nemours Children’s Health System.

This triangle consists of the resident, one bedside nurse and the parent, spaced 6 feet apart. The attending physician, additional resident staff and fellow are located at various workstations on the floor, or in a conference room.

The team of specialists and caregivers participate face to face using their own devices, allowing the core group to remain involved, including specialist physicians, pharmacist, social worker, dietitian and others.

Everyone is separate – at home or elsewhere – but connected via the secure app and able to interact with the parent and hallway team, the resident and fellow in the hospital, and each other.

“Facilitating virtual patient rounding has brought the entire care team together at the same time. Pre-COVID, the care team would round throughout the day as their schedules allowed. This was an unintended but very positive consequence of cohesive care coordination during rounding,” Officer explained.

Preserving PPE, addressing incoming patients

Nemours also had to address potential COVID-19-positive inpatients and the need to preserve PPE.

The clinical logistics center has a camera view into every inpatient room at the two children’s hospitals in the Nemours health facilities in Delaware and Orlando. Linking the technology of the logistics center with the Milestone XProtect video platform allows them to see and zoom into specific areas, from any desktop/laptop.

In order to talk to parents and nurses in the patient room, staff connect using the existing Cisco phone system in the room or via a nurse’s device. Thus, from anywhere, system-wide, staff have access to real-time audio and video communication without multiple people making multiple trips in and out of the patient room, doffing PPE each time.

“Officer noted: “Providers can round from anywhere, go room to room, and oversee multiple patient rooms on the screen at one time.”

Nurses, residents and attending physicians staffing the units can use telemedicine instead of entering the room, to minimize exposure and PPE use, for duties such as double-checks on medication. This practice decreases risk and use of resources, saving time and potential injury to patients and staff.

“This is a new form of telemedicine,” Officer stated. “We’re not going back after COVID.”

Read Nemours’ advice for other healthcare organizations in the full article by Bill Siwicki, Healthcare IT News, HIMSS Media.

Check out the full case study on Nemours’ exceptional patient care using Milestone video management software and Axis network cameras:

Milestone also interviewed Joe Summanen, Technical Architect for Nemours. Hear what he has to share about integrating the Milestone video open platform with other applications: