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Using Video Visits in Epic to Care for Patients with COVID-19 While Limiting Exposure

Healthcare workers at the University of Miami Health System closely monitor patients with fewer trips into patient rooms

When COVID-19 cases started appearing in Florida in March, the University of Miami Health System anticipated high volumes of patients with the virus. To keep staff safer and conserve PPE by limiting trips into patients’ rooms, UHealth quickly set up a live video feed at a nurses’ station using Epic so nurses can closely and safely monitor patients.

“Video monitoring lets clinicians keep a visual of their patients without going into the room,” said Thomas Benel, RN, the IT analyst who helped lead the project. “This reduces the chances of transmission and saves valuable PPE.”

A camera in each patient’s room connects to wall-mounted monitors in the nurses’ station that shows up to 10 patients at once. The monitors also show changes in vitals or temperature over time in Epic. Nurses can talk to patients while viewing the video feed, and UHealth plans to add two-way audio so patients can communicate without a gowned and gloved nurse entering the room.

“The quick turnaround on this project helped us continue to provide the best care to our patients, while protecting our nurses,” said Maureen Fagan, DNP, UHealth Chief Nursing Executive. “The video feed helps nurses take care of patients efficiently, and most importantly, reduces the risk of infection.”

Epic community members can learn more about how to use remote monitoring to reduce exposure in hospitals in the Managing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) With Epic documentation.