Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

‘Virtual Ward’ pilot program to reduce hospital stay time

Image of Man's arm with blood pressure cuff and fingertip pulse oximeter. A staff member demonstrates CRDAMC’s “virtual ward” (pilot) system which includes a wireless blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter that transmits a patient’s vital-sign readings via Bluetooth to a web-based database on the dedicated cellphone. The remote monitoring capabilities of the Virtual Ward offers certain patients the option to reduce their hospital stay and recover at home. (Photo by Patricia Deal, CRDAMC.)

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center (CRDAMC) at Fort Hood, Texas is test piloting a ‘virtual ward’ system which gives qualifying patients the option to be discharged early so they can recover at home with the confidence that they are being monitored and supported by their healthcare team.

The virtual ward system CRDAMC is testing is a variation of USAMMDA's Medical Hands-free Unified Broadcast (MEDHUB), a medical communications platform that typically exchanges trauma patient information between medics and receiving hospitals during medical evacuations.

“The goal of virtual telemedicine applications like the virtual ward is to allow us to deliver safe, effective healthcare so that patients can manage their medical treatment without them having to physically come to the hospital or clinic,” said Army Lt. Col. Garrett Meyers, chief of the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “The virtual ward ideally could shorten the hospital stay for patients with blood pressure problems, COPD or CHF exacerbations or other related conditions. The idea is that instead of staying in hospital longer than is strictly necessary, patients are released early and can recover in the comfort and privacy of their homes once they are at minimum risk. It helps ease any anxiety they might have about being in a hospital, plus it frees up hospital staff and beds.”

The CRDAMC virtual ward variant is designed to be compact and user-friendly. It includes a wireless blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter which allow patients to get immediate, accurate readings of their vital signs. The sensors transmit their vital-sign readings via Bluetooth to a dedicated cellphone also included with the system and the data is automatically entered into a web-based database.

Patients take their vital sign readings at regular intervals as prescribed by their physician and a member of the patient’s healthcare team reviews the data and transposes into the patient’s medical record.

The system also allows the healthcare provider to set individual parameters which would highlight specified values in red so everyone can immediately see if the patient’s readings fall outside of the expected range. If their condition warrants, patients may be called back to the hospital for observation or treatment if necessary.

The virtual ward is another addition to CRDAMC’s wide array of virtual health applications as the hospital continues to leverage technology and telemedicine advancements to enhance traditional health care practices. As COVID-19 has spurred new ideas and innovations in the way healthcare is delivered, CRDAMC has embraced virtual health as the new norm. The hospital currently leads all DOD military treatment facilities worldwide in telehealth services utilization, having the highest service member enrollment and providing more than 25,000 virtual video visits in the last few months.

“Technological advancements have impacted the healthcare system. Telemedicine trends like secure messaging between doctor and patient via any device from anyplace, tele-visits and wearable technology to monitor conditions at home have empowered people to take control of their healthcare,” Meyers said. “It’s all about making sure that people are getting the care they need, when they need it at the right time and in the right setting for them.”

You also may be interested in...

Enhancing Combat Readiness

Presentation
11/28/2018

Maj Gen Lee Payne, USAF, MC, CFS, Assistant Director-Combat Support, Defense Health Agency

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

October 2018 CVS Caremark Electronic Billing Process

Presentation
10/15/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

October 2018 Post Test

Presentation
10/15/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Encryption Wizard Info

Presentation
10/15/2018

Encryption Wizard (EW) is simple, strong, Java-based file and folder encryption software for protection of sensitive information, such as FOUO, PII, CUI, and Privacy Act data. This Presentation provides complete details about EW.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

October 2018 Webinar

Presentation
10/15/2018

October 2018 Webinar

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

October 2018 EDI RX Claims Overview

Presentation
10/15/2018

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

United States Transportation Command

Presentation
8/10/2017

Defense Health Briefing about the United States Transportation Command

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Health Services Headquarters Marine Corps

Presentation
8/10/2017

Defense Health Board briefing about the Health Services Headquarters Marine Corps

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Decision Brief Pediatric Health Care Services

Presentation
8/10/2017

Defense Health Board briefing about Pediatric Health Care Services

Recommended Content:

Public Health

Tasking Update Pediatric Health Care Services

Presentation
2/9/2017

Tasking Update: Pediatric Health Care Services

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Health Care Administration & Operations

Overview of Navy Medicine

Presentation
2/9/2017

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support | Our History

Deployment Health Centers Review

Presentation
11/1/2016

Deployment Health Centers Review briefing to the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness & Combat Support

Classifying the Histomorphology of Prostatic Adenocarcinoma with Deep Neural Networks

Presentation
11/1/2016

Classifying the Histomorphology of Prostatic Adenocarcinoma with Deep Neural Networks

Recommended Content:

Research and Innovation | Health Care Technology

Pediatric Care in the Military Health System

Presentation
11/1/2016

Pediatric Care in the Military Health System briefing to the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Administration & Operations | Public Health

Pediatric Health Care Services

Presentation
11/1/2016

Pediatric Health Care Services briefing to the Defense Health Board, Nov. 1, 2016.

Recommended Content:

Public Health
<< < 1 2 3 4 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 4
Refine your search
Last Updated: September 01, 2021

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.