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...

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 & the MHS Response | Information for Patients: 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 & the MHS Response

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 & the MHS Response

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 & the MHS Response

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 & the MHS Response

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 & the MHS Response

Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Publication
4/14/2020

A chart outlining the various Benefits Eligibility for 32 USC 502(f) Missions

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Information for Patients: About TRICARE

Memorandum on Providing Federal Support for Governors' Use of the National Guard to Respond to COVID-19

Publication
4/14/2020

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Delegation of Authority for Reserve Component Activation Authorities during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Response

Publication
4/10/2020

This delegation assigns to the Service Secretaries the authority to activate Reserve Component personnel and to modify their orders as needed to employ and retain them for the COVID-19 response.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Authorization to Employ Military Medical Capabilities to Treat COVID-19 Patients

Publication
4/8/2020

Effective immediately, the Commander, U.S Northern Command, is authorized, as he deems necessary and appropriate, to employ military medical capabilities under his operational control to treat patients who have contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Decision Memorandum on TRICARE Implementation of the "Families First Coronavirus Response Act"

Publication
4/7/2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127, Division F, Section 6006(a), limits TRICARE authority to impose copayment or other cost-sharing for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and related provider visits that result in orders for or administration of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, cleared, or authorized diagnostic products. In order for the Defense Health Agency (DHA) to implement, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs (ASD(HA)) must acknowledge the self-executing authority of the statute and direct the Director, DHA, or designee, to issue guidance implementing the statutory provisions.

Recommended Content:

Information for Patients: About TRICARE | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

DoD Guidance on the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Publication
4/5/2020

Effective immediately, to the extent practical, all individuals on DoD property, installations, and facilities will wear cloth face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public areas or work centers (this does not include in a Service member's or Service family member's personal residence on a military installation).

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Public Health

Policy on Accessions and Accessions Training during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Publication
4/3/2020

The Military Departments must seek ways to maximize accessions in a responsible manner to minimize a reduction in military end strength and the potential deterioration of mid-and long-term readiness and capacity.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Transition of Military Medical Treatment Facilities from Military Departments to the Defense Health Agency during the COVID-19 Response

Publication
4/2/2020

The Department's MTF transition plan is conditions-based. While the transition of MTFs to DHA is continuing, the COVID-19 response requirements are impacting DHA's ability to meet all required conditions. The need for the DHA and MILDEPs to refocus efforts away from the transition to support the COVID-19 response led to questions regarding the future of MTF Transition.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Military Health System Transformation

Adobe Connect Guidance for Patients

Publication
4/1/2020

A brief guide for MHS beneficiaries on best practices in using Adobe Connect for virtual health care visits with their provider.

Recommended Content:

Health Care Technology | Mobile Apps | Telehealth Program
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 61 - 75 Page 5 of 8
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.