Grant Application

Jessica Schunk, RN, and Sara Hurwitz, BSN, RN, CCM, UPMC Health Plan

Proposed Innovation

The Virtual Discharge (VDC) project was introduced as a pilot program at UPMC Passavant–McCandless in December 2021 in response to the nursing shortage. The goal was to reduce the bedside nursing workload while providing virtual patient-focused discharge instructions through UPMC AnywhereCare.

During the pilot program at UPMC Passavant, an effective streamlined process for virtual discharge was developed. VDC reduced the bedside nurse workload in the hospital’s 30-bed orthopaedic unit by over 190 hours. At the same time, patients reported improved satisfaction with discharge instructions provided during their virtual visit with a nurse. The goal of this project is to expand the program by using iPad technology to improve access for patients with limited mobility as well as hearing and visual impairments.

Improvements in Action

Seven iPad Pro devices will be purchased for the orthopaedic unit. The iPads enable patients to easily hold the tablet to adjust the sound or move it closer so they can hear and see better.

Intended Outcomes

Expanding the VDC project through the addition of iPad technology will improve the patient experience and help ensure more patients receive quality discharge instructions through virtual visits. This is expected to lead to reduced hospital readmissions and increased staff satisfaction.