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Collaborative Partners Bring Virtual Care Options to Midstate

Virtual Patient Observation Enhances Patient Safety and Care

When Charlotte-based Atrium Health and Macon, Ga.-based Atrium Health Navicent announced their strategic combination in January 2019, one primary objective of the partnership was to improve the depth and breadth of services offered to healthcare consumers in the Georgia market, particularly in the area of virtual care.

At that time, the two health systems announced that Atrium Health would invest capital and work with Atrium Health Navicent's clinical experts to enhance services, particularly implementing innovative treatment models like virtual care and telepsychiatry to create the next generation of healthcare for Georgians.

Now, one year into their combination, that goal has become a reality. After announcing the implementation of their virtual critical care program earlier this year, Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health today announced Virtual Patient Observation (VPO), available at the following hospitals:

The Medical Center, Navicent Health (Macon, Ga.)

Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin (Milledgeville, Ga.)

Rehabilitation Hospital, Atrium Health Navicent (Macon, Ga.)

VPO incorporates trained medical staff and bedside technology to provide added protection for certain at-risk patients, particularly those who may be at risk of falling, or have cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer's disease. To date, VPO has provided monitoring services for over 400 patient days of patient monitoring.

The patient's bedside care team will assist in determining if VPO is recommended for an individual patient, depending on the level of safety concern. If VPO is recommended, a bedside monitor will be placed in the patient's room, and trained staff in Charlotte will provide an added level of comfort and care for the patient, similar to having a bedside sitter. VPO benefits patients who qualify by having someone virtually in the room to assist with needs at any given time. Patients and virtual monitoring teammates can communicate directly with one another, and virtual monitoring staff can also alert the patient's bedside care team if a need arises.

"VPO is like having a caregiver in the room at all times to ensure the highest quality of care for the patient, and provide peace of mind for their loved ones. VPO has been proven to reduce falls up to 50 percent and improve both staff and patient satisfaction. We're thrilled to implement this technology in the Georgia market," said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.

It is important to note that while patients are being carefully monitored, they are not being recorded, and the patient's right to privacy is always respected. VPO technology can be placed into privacy mode during certain procedures or activities, such as bathing or changing.

The addition of VPO is but one of a number of virtual health initiatives that Atrium Health Navicent and Atrium Health plan to implement in order to dramatically improve access to high-quality, reasonably priced care and elevate hope and healing for healthcare consumers in the Georgia market.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Atrium Health Navicent provides care for healthcare consumers' through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Atrium Health Navicent is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit