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Emory Healthcare's 5 Metrics of Success for Virtual Nursing

Analysis  |  By G Hatfield  
   May 31, 2024

One of the biggest challenges when implementing virtual nursing programs is determining which metrics to use to measure ROI.

Jason Atkins, vice president and chief clinical informatics officer at Emory Healthcare, outlined how the Atlanta-based health system is implementing virtual nursing and the five metrics they use to measure the success of their program.

Atkins is a part of the HealthLeaders Virtual Nursing Mastermind program, in which several health systems are discussing the ins and outs of their virtual nursing programs and what their goals are for implementing this new strategy.


The first metric, according to Atkins, is nurse satisfaction and nurse engagement. This data is collected via surveys that go out to the nurses.

"We do pulse surveys to make sure that we're asking questions around, 'Do you have the tools you need for your work?’ and, ’'Do you have the staffing and resources that you need for your work?'" Atkins said.

The second is patient satisfaction. Patients must be made aware of the cameras and what their interactions will be with the virtual nurse.

Atkins said that explaining the virtual nursing process to the patients will gain their trust and engagement.

"We really want to make sure that we're explaining the why behind this to our patients," Atkins said, "because they're going to see a camera in their room and that could certainly give someone a sense of privacy invasion."

Length of stay is the third metric. The virtual nurses are completing discharge planning, education, and facilitation, and according to Atkins, they are the link to the interdisciplinary rounding process to make sure that milestones and barriers are worked before discharge day.

"Making sure we've got prescriptions set up, we've got their med reconciliation done, we've got all their discharge milestones such as transport or subacute care." Atkins said. "All of that stuff should help decrease our length of stay."

The fourth metric is readmission rates, which are often dependent on discharges, education, and follow-up planning.

"Making sure that the patients who are discharged have their follow-up appointments before they ever leave the hospital," Atkins said, "so they can get that good continuity of care and not get readmitted to the hospital."

The fifth and final metric is cost and productivity. Atkins explained that the goal is to offload the burden of care from the bedside nurse, while making sure that there is a return on investment.

"It's not just adding on new staffing or thinking about how [to] increase the ratios on the nurses," Atkins said. "It's really about a return on investment based on those other metrics [and] hopefully quality of care improvements as well."

The HealthLeaders Mastermind series is an exclusive series of calls and events with healthcare executives. This Virtual Nursing Mastermind series features ideas, solutions, and insights on excelling your virtual nursing program. Please join the community at our LinkedIn page.

To inquire about participating in an upcoming Mastermind series or attending a HealthLeaders Exchange event, email us at

G Hatfield is the nursing editor for HealthLeaders.


Nurse and patient satisfaction and engagement are two of the primary metrics that measure the success of virtual nursing.

Length of stay and readmission rates are largely impacted by the virtual nurses involved in those processes.

Virtual nursing should ideally offload work from the bedside nurse while also providing ROI.

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