Virtua Health Launches AI-Enabled Virtual Nursing Program

By Eric Wicklund

Virtua Health is partnering with an AI company to scale a new Virtual Nursing program across the enterprise.

The New Jersey-based health system is collaborating with to integrate its virtual care technology throughout Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Camden following a pilot program launched late last year in one med-surg unit. Virtua executives say the platform will eventually be scaled out to all hospitals in the health system.

“By embracing the transformative potential of artificial intelligence and ambient intelligence, Virtua is pioneering a new era in patient care,” Tarun Kapoor, MD, MBA, Virtua Health’s senior vice president and chief digital transformation officer, said in a press release.

The partnership is part of a nationwide trend of health systems and hospitals adopting virtual nursing platforms for one or more of three primary reasons:

  • Many are using virtual care technology to address staffing shortages and reduce stress and burnout by assigning virtual nurses administrative tasks and allowing on-site nurses to focus on care management.
  • They can also target improved administrative and clinical outcomes through round-the-clock patient monitoring and data entry and analysis.
  • Some are also using the platform to mentor newer nurses and give older nurses a new opportunity to stay in the workforce.

Virtua executives say the platform aims to streamline patient care “from routine admit and discharge activities to documentation, fall prevention, and clinician safety.” It enables floor nurses to focus on patient interaction while the virtual nurse handles other tasks, while ambient AI sensors in the rooms keep an eye on patients at all times.

“Our focus is not just on integrating cutting-edge technologies, but on enhancing the human aspects of healthcare,” Michael Capriotti, Virtua Health’s senior vice president of integration and strategic operations, said in the press release.  “By swiftly adopting optical cameras and ambient sensors, we’re poised to markedly enhance the patient and care team experience, ensuring a safer, more efficient, and empathically connected healthcare experience.”

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.