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 | Health Care Technology | Coronavirus | 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...

TRL Assessment 2020

Publication
9/22/2020

Document that describes the technology readiness level of an agency

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Provider Resilience Toolkit Overview

Publication
9/17/2020

Overview of the digital health resources and tools available from the Defense Health Agency supporting provider resilience.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Provider Resilience Self Care Guide

Publication
9/17/2020

Tips and recommendations for health care providers on self-care to promote resilience and reduce stress.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 12) -Department of Defense Guidance for Personnel Traveling During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
8/6/2020

This memorandum supplements requirements in references (a), (b), and (c) with respect to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and replaces reference (d). It provides pre- and post­travel guidance for purposes of force health protection (FHP) of Service members, DoD family members, DoD civilian employees, and DoD contractor personnel.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Provider Resilience Three Steps to Self Care

Publication
8/6/2020

This infographic outlines three primary steps in supporting self care and resilience in health care providers.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology

Supplemental Guidance 10 for Military Medical Treatment Facilities and Military Dental Treatment Facilities Directors in regards to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Publication
7/1/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Virtual Health Patient FAQs

Publication
6/19/2020

Frequently asked questions for patients on the use of virtual health technology to receive health care.

Recommended Content:

Telehealth Program | Health Care Technology

Virtual Health Myth vs Fact

Publication
6/19/2020

Review of the myths and facts on the use of virtual health technology to deliver health care.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program

Virtual Health Provider FAQs

Publication
6/19/2020

Frequently asked questions for health care providers on the use of virtual health technology in clinical practice.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Telehealth Program

Communication to ABA Providers Regarding Continued Temporary Authorization to Utilize Telehealth for CPT Code 97156 During the COVID-19 National Emergency

Publication
6/3/2020

TRICARE is announcing the continuation of the temporary exception to policy regarding the use of synchronous telehealth (TH) capabilities (both audio and video) for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Family Adaptive Behavior Treatment Guidance services specifically during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | About TRICARE

Force Health Protection Guidance (Supplement 9) -Department of Defense Guidance for Deployment and Redeployment of Individuals and Units during the Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/26/2020

This memorandum provides force health protection (FHP) deployment and redeployment guidance for Service members (including Reserve Component (RC) and National Guard members in a title 10 or title 32 duty status) and DoD civilian employees deploying within and outside the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, consistent with references (a) and (b).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Guidance for Commanders on Risk-Based Changing of Health Protection Condition Levels During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Publication
5/20/2020

This memorandum provides guidance for commanders to consider when making decisions to change health protection condition (HPCON) levels as COVID-19 pandemic conditions on and adjacent to our installations begin to improve.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Resuming Elective Surgical, Invasive, and Dental Procedures in Military Medical and Dental Treatment Facilities

Publication
5/19/2020

This memorandum provides guidance on how each Military Medical Treatment Facility (MTF) and Dental Treatment Facility (DTF) may resume elective medical and dental procedures.

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Coronavirus

Modification and Reissuance of DoD Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 -Travel Restrictions

Publication
4/20/2020

All DoD Service members will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect. All DoD civilian personnel, and dependents of DoD Service members and DoD civilian personnel, whose travel is Government-funded will stop movement, both internationally and domestically, while this memorandum is in effect.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus

Implementation Guidance for Presidential Memorandum, "Providing Federal Support for Governor's Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19 ," Dated April 7, 2020

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 46 - 60 Page 4 of 7
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.