UI Hospitalist providers virtually co-manage inpatients with providers at Critical Access and Regional Hospitals across the state Iowa. The UI Virtual Hospitalist Service aims to support local providers, enhance inpatient care, and keep patients in their community.
How the UI Virtual Hospitalist Service Works
Providers and nurses in the local hospital collaborate with a UI hospitalist–a physician focused on inpatient care–in Iowa City through secure video conferencing and a shared electronic health record (EHR). Use of a shared EHR enables providers at both locations to review a patient’s health information, allowing real-time collaboration and clinical decision-making.
Together, the team provides specialty care for patients in the emergency department and inpatient units of the rural hospital, through twice-daily virtual rounding and virtual consults. With the local provider at their side, inpatients use a tablet to communicate face-to-face with the UI hospitalist daily.
The Impact of the UI Virtual Hospitalist Service
The service is staffed by experienced faculty providers who provide high-quality education and the latest developments in inpatient medicine. The local provider is empowered with the necessary resources to maintain care of patients when they may have otherwise transferred to another facility. Keeping patients closer to home enables families to better support their loved one while in the hospital, reduces travel time, and improves continuity of care.
When a patient transfer is necessary, the Virtual Hospitalist Service ensures that the patient experiences a smooth transition of care from the local hospital to UI Hospitals and Clinics. Once there, the patient is treated in person by the same hospitalist team who co-managed their care locally. This streamlined process reduces diagnostic and treatment timelines and leads to improved patient outcomes and recovery.
The Role of The Signal Center for Health Innovation
The Signal Center’s Digital Health Services team collaborates with several UI teams to develop the technical infrastructure and operational workflows to build a telemedicine network that connects UI Hospitals and Clinics with healthcare organizations throughout the state of Iowa.
In the News
Tele-hospital medicine branches out Today’s Hospitalist
Physicians 90 miles away assist in treating local patients KTVO.com