In early 2023, Arkansas-based Baptist Health launched a virtual nursing program at its Rehabilitation Institute to provide additional support to bedside nurses, patients and families. The program then expanded to its hospitals in Stuttgart, Malvern and Heber Springs. Citing positive patient outcomes and feedback, Baptist Health plans to roll out virtual care programs on every medical and surgical floor across the organization. 

The largest private nonprofit healthcare organization based in Arkansas, Baptist Health has 12 hospitals, urgent care centers, a senior living community, more than 100 primary and specialty care clinics, and approximately 11,000 employees.

Baptist Health will enhance its bedside care teams by increasing its usage of Caregility intelligent telehealth devices to more than 700 bedsides system-wide, doubling the footprint of the healthcare organization’s inpatient telehealth services. The initiative adds virtual clinical resources to support in-person bedside care.

The goal of virtual nursing is to reduce pressure on bedside staff by redistributing tasks that a virtual nurse or support staff can field. As a result of increased telehealth services in acute care settings, healthcare systems see significant time savings and improved throughput (the process of moving patients through the hospital system from admission to discharge), according to Caregility.

As part of this expansion, Baptist Health will deploy Caregility’s telehealth devices and Caregility Cloud virtual care platform in more than 500 additional patient rooms at the health system’s flagship hospital, Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock, as well as Baptist Health Medical Center-North Little Rock and Baptist Health-Fort Smith. These devices will support the expansion of virtual nursing and the rollout of virtual support staff and virtual providers in the coming months. Additionally, a centralized hub to support virtual nursing and virtual sitters has opened on the Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock campus. 

“Embracing virtual support as part of our acute care bedside support and quality strategy signifies a pivotal step forward in how we envision the future of healthcare at Baptist Health,” said Kourtney Matlock, president of Baptist Health Rehabilitation Institute and system post-acute services, in a statement. “Baptist Health first added virtual care in 2005, and we have continued to advance with the latest technology bringing us to where we are today with our partnership with Caregility. This expansion is more than an initiative; it’s a commitment to providing health equity across our state, setting new standards in patient and provider satisfaction, and furthering our mission to be the employer of choice in Arkansas.” 

Baptist Health said this expansion builds upon its previous success with virtual admissions and discharge programs, currently supported by more than 300 wall-mounted and cart-based Caregility telehealth devices across 11 hospitals. Since partnering on virtual care services with Caregility in 2021, telehealth session volume for Baptist Health has increased from roughly 1,000 virtual visits per quarter to more than 20,000. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here