Raising the Stakes on Patient Monitoring –
Fall prevention and other patient safety interventions often require more frequent visual patient observation as a supplement to scheduled rounding. Companion sitters are costly, and it’s not proven that their presence creates a safer environment.1 Innovative technologies to support remote patient monitoring and safety initiatives in healthcare settings have become prevalent, but how do you know what technology to choose when it comes to patient monitoring? What vendor provides the tailored, comprehensive system to support your facility’s unique needs?
Patients are often asked to “Call, Don’t Fall” in an effort to reduce falls. This helps, but a patient in a semi-conscious state may not have the presence of mind to call before getting out of bed to use the restroom. Other patients may be feverish or agitated and believe they need to leave the room, unable to use the in-room phone or Pillow Speaker. In other cases, elopement concerns or drain displacement may require more frequent monitoring. Falls can derail an otherwise smooth hospitalization recovery and cause havoc for patients and staff.
Patient monitoring has moved into the digital age with a variety of technologies and connectivity options available to care providers. In acute care, post-acute care and rehabilitation settings, it’s possible to reduce the likelihood of falls and respond more quickly to patient issues through an integrated video monitoring system.2
With a single touch to the patient room number or patient name displayed on the digital Unit Whiteboard, the Nurse or clinician calls up that room and patient into full screen mode with bi-directional audio and video.
eSitter patient monitoring works through MediaCare and the Interactive Unit Whiteboard located at the central Unit or Nurses’ Station. The live stream of the patient room is behind an Administrative password to prevent unauthorized video access to a room.
eSitter monitors unlimited rooms at one time from the Nurses’ Station or central Unit desk; how many you choose to view at once is dependent on the size of the image you want on a particular display screen. Charge Nurses, Nurses and clinical monitors can make medical notes in the patient record about their observations, providing a more comprehensive care history. In real time, they can note the five “P’s” between rounds: pain, potty, position, possessions and peaceful environment. They can note any room issues, like trash on the floor that creates a trip hazard, or bedclothes or wires that become entangled in bed rails.
In addition to video observation and two-way communication, clinical observers and caregivers have the ability to set Nurse or Rounding Notes for the specific patient, push messages to patients as needed and enter new Daily Patient Goals directly to the patient’s in-room Patient Whiteboard. Any new information entered here automatically updates all interactive devices connected for that patient. Video feeds are secured behind the facility’s firewall.
So, What Should You Look for When Choosing a Patient Monitoring System?
It’s important to consider these questions when researching a video monitoring system:
Is the patient monitoring system easy to maintain and update as needed? Does it run across the existing enterprise with no disruption to existing technology infrastructure?
- As always, look for an enterprise system that can be managed from the data center or IT department to eliminate patient interruptions and reduce IT maintenance costs.
What rooms are being monitored?
- The system should offer multi-room monitoring. Observers should have the ability to choose specific rooms though a simple user interface.
Is the list of monitored rooms dynamic?
- Make sure you have the ability to monitor different rooms at different times as the patient population changes.
Does the system allow audio intervention with the video feed?
- You should be able to converse with the patient to alert them to their impending safety hazard or alert them that help is on the way, and the patient should be able to respond audibly, if they are able.
Is the system flexible, scalable to your facility, and robust?
- Your system should allow you to scale it to the size of your facility and patient population. Many monitoring systems are “one-size fits all.” Work with your vendor to ensure you have the system you need that works for your facility, your staff and your patients. The system should not need redundant maintenance.
Having a comprehensive system in place for patient monitoring can reduce the likelihood of readmission due to falls or other complications like respiratory distress or obstruction. A monitoring system increases safety, decreases errors, optimizes workflow and reduces burnout by alleviating non-clinical task trips for the Care Team. Including video monitoring with a comprehensive program of patient education helps reduce readmissions to secure CMS and other reimbursements, and offers another layer of transformative care delivery for your patients.
We welcome a discovery conversation to help you determine what works best for your facility. Schedule a brief virtual or in-person demo today and let’s get started!
1 Abbe JR, O’Keeffe C. Continuous Video Monitoring: Implementation Strategies for Safe Patient Care and Identified Best Practices. J Nurs Care Qual. 2021 Apr-Jun 01;36(2):137-142. doi: 10.1097/NCQ.0000000000000502. PMID: 32658001; PMCID: PMC7899219.
2 Cournan M, Fusco-Gessick B, Wright L. Improving Patient Safety Through Video Monitoring. Rehabil Nurs. 2018 Mar/Apr;43(2):111-115. doi: 10.1097/RNJ.0000000000000089. PMID: 29499009.
3 Bradley K. Remote Video Monitoring: A Novel Approach in Fall Prevention. J Contin Educ Nurs. 2016 Nov 1;47(11):484-486. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20161017-04. PMID: 27783827.