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Observation Medicine

The Division of Observation Medicine oversees VCU Medical Center’s complex care clinical decision unit (CDU).

About

Located adjacent to the emergency department with 16 beds, the CDU provides an alternative for patients in need of intermediate care who don’t require inpatient hospital admission.

Since the inception of observation medicine in the 1970s, the number of admitted patients under observation status has steadily increased from about 10% to more than 40%. These patients can be effectively managed in an observation unit like our CDU, where we are able to provide expedited, safe and cost-effective care when compared to inpatient admission.

Conditions we most commonly diagnose and treat include the following: 

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Acute gastroenteritis 
  • Acute renal colic 
  • Anemia 
  • Asthma  
  • Atrial fibrillation 
  • Chest pain 
  • Congestive heart failure 
  • Dehydration 
  • Pneumonia 
  • Pyelonephritis
  • Syncope and collapse 

Our team takes a multidisciplinary approach, and we collaborate with nursing staff, social workers, physical therapists and other specialists to achieve the best outcomes in a short period of time — usually less than 23 hours.

Mission

Our mission is to provide timely, comprehensive, cost effective and compassionate care to patients under observation status by optimal resource utilization.  

Message from the Chair

[VCUSOM Message from the Dean] - Message from the Chair [View Image]

Message from the Chair

We’re national leaders in this. Complex observation requires more physician time, more expertise and a collaborative approach, and that’s what we do in our CDU.  – Pawan Suri, M.D.  

Taruna Aurora, MD [View Image]

Taruna Aurora, MD

Assistant Professor

Taruna Aurora, MD [View Image]

Taruna Aurora, MD

Assistant Professor

Division of Observation Medicine

Clinical Decision Unit Co-Director

Email: taruna.aurora@vcuhealth.org

Joel René Morrissey, MD [View Image]

Joel René Morrissey, MD

Assistant Professor

Joel René Morrissey, MD [View Image]

Joel René Morrissey, MD

Assistant Professor

Division of Observation Medicine

Email: joel.morrissey@vcuhealth.org

Pawan Suri, MD [View Image]

Pawan Suri, MD

Associate Professor

Pawan Suri, MD [View Image]

Pawan Suri, MD

Associate Professor

Division of Observation Medicine

EM-IM Residency Program Director
Division of Observation Medicine Chair

Email: pawan.suri@vcuhealth.org

Christina Vitto, MD [View Image]

Christina Vitto, MD

Assistant Professor

Christina Vitto, MD [View Image]

Christina Vitto, MD

Assistant Professor

Email: christina.vitto@vcuhealth.org

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