With increased patient admissions and challenges to patient safety in hospitals today, healthcare facilities have turned to use modern video technology for remote monitoring and supervision of patients while reducing costs and improving patient outcomes.
With over 1 million falls reported a year at an average of 11.5 per hospital per month, hospitals have identified patient falls as their top adverse event. With at least 33% of all patient falls being preventable, the Joint Commission requires every hospital to have a fall-reduction program to help decrease the number of these incidents.
Unfortunately, preventing a patient fall is a difficult and complex endeavor for any hospital. Various strategies for patient fall reductions include a review of patient risk factors and assessment tools, such as the “Morse Fall Scale,” to help identify a potential fall before it happens. Additionally, various hardware-based patient safety mechanisms, such as pressure alarms and smart beds have been tested and deployed to help reduce falls. However, these devices have now been proved to be minimally effective.
Many hospitals have deployed patient sitters to help reduce and manage falls. A patient sitter will sit at the bedside or somewhere in the room for patients that have a high risk of falling. While being more effective than other methods, patient sitters can cost hospitals up to $3 million annually.
Today, hospitals are deploying live video solutions at the bedside to help the ever-hindering patient fall challenge. A live dome surveillance camera is either mounted above the patient bed or an anti-ligature corner camera capturing the entire bed space and surrounding area. These patient room cameras are high resolution and installed with low light technologies that will still show a high-resolution image even in an almost complete dark patient room. Most cameras installed in the patient room are discreet and have a small form factor.
Remote patient monitoring and observation stations are deployed either down the hall, a floor down, or even in a separate building. A trusted observation technician can monitor up to 10-16 patients and watch for certain behavioral actions that could lead to a patient fall. With this increase in efficiency, nurses and patient sitters can now focus on their day to day work activities rather than sitting idle at bedsides without compromising patient care or safety.
In the past, a nurse would reactively respond with urgency to any nurse call alert or patient alarm and not know the exact nature of the patient situation. With live visibility of the patient, the nurse will know the urgency of the situation. Along with seeing the status of the patient, the observation technician can communicate in real-time with the patient. With enhanced communication integration, real-time recorded messages can be sent to the patient’s room over a speaker or even through the patient camera. This will help reduce the patient’s stress level knowing a real person has responded to their critical or non-emergency need.
Metrics are an important factor in improving patient healthcare. Through remote video observation, hospitals can measure how many times a nurse or caregiver visited or checked on specific patients, if patient or nurse call alarms were checked and cleared, or to monitor a patient’s status or condition in real-time.
This type of data allows applicable departments to chart successes over time and build concise and actionable plans to help improve performance and, most importantly, quality of care.
Hanwha Techwin and Convergint have strategically partnered to help hospitals reduce patient falls, enhance patient safety, and provide an end to end solution for clinical and safety applications. The solutions provided can greatly improve patient outcomes while dramatically reducing hospital costs.