Int J Qual Health Care. 2021 Jul 30:mzab111. doi: 10.1093/intqhc/mzab111. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: New inpatient virtual care models have proliferated in response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, few of these programs have yet been evaluated for acceptability and feasibility. We present the results of a survey of feasibility and provider experience with the Virtual Team Rounding Program (VTRP), a quality improvement project developed and rapidly scaled at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, MA, in response to the surge of COVID-19 patients in the spring of 2020.
METHODS: We surveyed 777 inpatient providers and 41 providers who served as "virtual rounders" regarding their experience with the program. Inpatient providers were asked about their overall satisfaction with the program, whether they the program saved them time, and if so, how much, and their interest in working with a similar program in the future. Providers who had worked as virtual rounders were asked about their overall satisfaction with the program, the overall difficulty of the work, and their interest in participating in a similar program in the future.
RESULTS: We find that among both groups the program was well-received, with 72.5% of inpatient providers and 85.7% of virtual rounders reporting they were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their experience with the program. Among inpatient providers who worked with the program, two-thirds reported the program saved them time on a daily basis. Inpatient respondents who had worked with virtual rounders were more likely to say that they would be interested in working with the VTRP in the future compared with respondents who never worked with a virtual rounder (75.3% vs 52.5%, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: As the pandemic continues, rapidly implementing and studying virtual care delivery programs is crucial for hospitals and health systems. We demonstrate the feasibility and acceptability of a "virtual rounding" program assisting inpatient providers. Future work should examine the impact of these programs on patient outcomes.