VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – From Facetiming your family to appointments, many day-to-day tasks can now be done through a screen, and your trip to the emergency room may be no different.

Good Samaritan Hospital went live with its virtual nursing initiative Tuesday, with it being fully launched on Thursday.

It now has a virtual nursing team from Banyan Medical Solutions that will be dedicated to the hospital.

A patient’s admission and discharge paperwork, along with patient education, will now be handled by the virtual nurses.

“We have to respond quickly with new models of care, so that’s where virtual nursing comes in. It’s a new model of care that really supports the bedside nurse and what’s happening in the market,” Rachel Spalding, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Officer, said.

Good Samaritan is only the second hospital in Indiana to launch this type of care.

First, patients will hear a chime. That will be followed by one of the virtual nurses popping on the TV screen, and asking if it’s okay if they turn the camera on.

Spalding said on average, this will decrease an everyday nurse’s workload by 25-30%.

In a time when many hospitals are experiencing burnout and an overall nursing shortage, she said this is also a way to get new nurses in the door.

“We’ve seen such a shift in the healthcare workforce and so we have to find a way to fill that gap and be creative be forward thinking and really explore those future models of care so that we can ensure the best patient plan possible,” Spalding said.

Lindsey Mahinay is a nurse and Shift Coordinator at Good Samaritan Hospital. She said she spends hours of her day doing paperwork and patient education, so this will take a big load off of her shoulders.

She said this will actually allow nurses to have more time to focus on the patient and their needs.

“I think mostly I’m really looking forward to being able to be back at the bedside and just spending more time with patients because you know, it’s good to have that rapport with the patients and be an advocate for those patients and their family members,” Mahinay said.

This will leave two sets of eyes on each patient, which Spalding and Mahinay said will be a game-changer in their level of care.

Spalding said they will meet regularly to evaluate how they can improve the program as this is in its beginning stages.