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COVID-19 care innovations worth keeping

Bright spots for the new year

By: Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN

COVID-19 care innovations worth keeping.

We’ve lived through three waves of COVID-19 and learned from each one. New ways to care grew out of necessity, many of which I hope become permanent. Just look at the number of bright spots and innovative care activities that have developed over the past 18 months. They give us hope for a positive and productive 2022 for a nursing profession continuing to thrive. Relationships matter when caring for patients, supporting staff, and building teams. 

These examples of bright spots have helped increase the tempo of care through greater patient interaction, increased connections via high-touch interventions, and improved teamwork using adaptation within healthcare teams.  

  • Remote patient monitoring is expected to double by 2025 as more patient visits are conducted virtually. 
  • The hospital at home concept enables some patients who require acute care to receive it in their homes rather than in a hospital. 
  • On-demand virtual visits better meet the time constraints of patients and increase caregiver interaction.
  • Virtual admissions nurses can perform assessments and complete the intake process for procedures while the patient is at home.
  • Behavioral health urgent care consults improve appropriateness of care and keep patients out of the emergency department. 
  • Re-imagined post discharge care that uses telehealth when appropriate reduces costs and improves the care experience.  
  • Horizons Hangouts help address burnout issues. They include sessions where teams can watch webinars together, try new technology, or learn about personal wellness solutions. 
  • Project Wingman (, founded in 2020 in response to the pandemic, provides dedicated lounges in U.K. hospitals where staff are cared for by volunteer airline crew members. 
  • ATTIC (Activities for Transforming Teams & Igniting Change) helps teams enhance teamwork, develop communication skills, and spark creative thinking and innovation (

To find other bright spots with ideas you might use to improve your practice environment, read these articles in this month’s issue of American Nurse Journal 

  • “Beyond the pandemic: Retaining nurses to mitigate shortages”
  • “Artificial intelligence in nursing”
  • “Promoting patient portal engagement.”

As you ring in the new year, make a resolution to find bright spots and innovations that can support you, other caregivers, and patients. As we turn the page on a challenging 2021, I wish you a healthy and happier 2022.  



    Lillee Gelinas, DNP, RN, CPPS, FAAN 


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