• Revolutionary Nursing Practice TogetherTeam Virtual Connected Care™ comes to MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

    Addressing the nursing workforce crisis remains a critical challenge for health systems nationwide, with a predicted shortage of nine million nurses worldwide by 2030. MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center, in conjunction with its parent company, Trinity Health (based in Livonia, Michigan), one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit health systems, is rolling out a first-of-its-kind care delivery model to address these challenges, improve care delivery, increase job satisfaction and create career pathways for nurses at any stage of their career.
    TogetherTeam Virtual Connected CareTM is a true team approach to patient-centered care and uses technology to support direct care staff and increase patient interaction. Patients receiving care through this delivery model can expect to be treated by a direct care registered nurse, an on-site nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse, and a registered nurse who remotes into the patient’s room virtually. The team is a cohesive and highly connected unit to deliver comprehensive care. The virtual nurses are located on local campuses as opposed to an off-site call center, have access to complete medical records and can perform detailed examinations via advanced camera technology. The presence of an experienced virtual nurse provides invaluable mentoring and support to the direct care nurses, especially new graduates.
    "Nursing resources are scarce and will only get worse. We needed to act swiftly. The workforce shortage has crippled the traditional model of hospital nursing, which is no longer optimal in some environments," said Robert Wethal, vice president of patient care/chief nursing officer - MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center. "Our innovative care delivery model supports nurses doing what they love most, working at the top of their license to provide excellent professional care to their patients.”
    The model serves as a key market differentiator that addresses the nursing workforce crisis head-on. Moreover, it accommodates caregivers at various stages of their careers, providing a stable and predictable working environment and helping to build a strong pipeline of caregivers to meet future health care needs.
    “MercyOne is proud to add MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center as our fifth location, completing our implementation of this innovation to nursing from border to border across Iowa,” said Bob Ritz, MercyOne CEO.
    We recognize the imperative need for innovative solutions and we are taking a bold step toward redesigning the care process to support the needs of the patients and our care team,” added Ritz. “This model not only confronts the imminent challenges we face as clinicians through creativity and ingenuity but also enhances care delivery and bolsters job satisfaction -- paving the way for the nurses of tomorrow. It is truly a pioneering strategy with a veritable team care model that will help us inspire a new era of nursing excellence.”
    MercyOne locations using TogetherTeam Virtual Connected CareTM include:
    MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center
    MercyOne Waterloo Medical Center
    MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center
    MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center
    MercyOne Dubuque Medical Center

    About MercyOne
    MercyOne is a connected system of health care facilities and services dedicated to helping people and communities live their best life. MercyOne’s care providers and staff make health the highest priority. The system’s clinics, medical centers, hospitals and affiliates are located throughout the state of Iowa and beyond. Headquartered in central Iowa, MercyOne is a member of Trinity Health (based in Livonia, Michigan) – one of the largest not-for-profit Catholic health care systems in the nation. Learn more at MercyOne.org