Reducing falls, increasing staff productivity, and lowering costs are all common benefits associated with implementing a Virtual Patient Observation solution. By adding MedSitter to your strategy this year, you can unburden your nursing teams and significantly improve patient safety, which is directly tied to quality patient care, improved outcomes, and higher satisfaction rating from both patients and staff.
Patient Safety is the Cornerstone of Quality Patient Care – Virtual patient Observation Improves Patient Safety
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) considers patient safety “indistinguishable from the delivery of quality health care.” Patient safety is largely measured by the absence of patient harm – for example low rates of patient injury and mortality. When it comes to preventing adverse outcomes for patients, nurses are on the frontlines and often bear the responsibility for keeping patients safe. (Source: NCBI)
Keeping patients safe is a constant challenge, made more acute by the ongoing staffing shortages. Fortunately, emerging healthcare technologies can help to support nursing staff by assisting in patient safety monitoring. For example, the MedSitter remote observation solution leverages technology to enable live sitters to observe patients and identify a patient that could be at risk. MedSitter’s cloud-based platform provides proactive motion detection to direct the attention of sitters, and when an observer identifies that the patient is at risk, they can simultaneously verbally redirect the patient while sending an alert to the attending medical staff with the effortless click of a button. (Source: MedSitter Features). One MedSitter observer can monitor up to ten patients at once, keeping more patients safe without straining staff resources.
To realize the benefits of real quality health care, health services must be timely, equitable, integrated, and efficient. With a Virtual Patient Observation solution in every patient room, patients are never left unattended. Virtual sitters can provide constant surveillance to multiple patients at a time and are able to redirect a patient as needed until help is on the way.
One-to-One Patient Observation is Difficult to Maintain
Historically, at-risk patients would be assigned a sitter, caregiver or nurse to supervise in-person with the goal of preventing falls or any other type of injury. However, having a one-to-one ratio of clinicians to patients is difficult to maintain. (Source: HealthTech Magazine)
Staffing shortages have forced hospitals nationwide to appoint overqualified staff for 1:1 observation, which ultimately diverts attention away from other nursing tasks thereby lowering the quality of patient care for other patients and overburdening nursing staff.
In extreme situations, hospitals are unable to fulfill MD orders for a 1:1 sitter for a high-risk patient, putting the patient at significant injury risk. This is becoming more and more common as the nation continues to see a rise in nursing staff shortages. (Source: USAHS)
Investments in remote observation technology, such as MedSitter’s Virtual Patient Observation Solution, is proving to reduce patient harm, leading to significant financial savings, and more importantly, better patient outcomes. Not only does Virtual Patient Observation make better utilization of staff and resources, it also allows healthcare institutions the ability to provide better patient care in the long run.
3. Virtual Sitters Provide Support Your Nurses and Other Medical Staff.
Studies show that staffing/workload is one of the primary causes of nurse turnover. The cost of nurse turnover adds to the financial pressures hospitals face in an age of diminishing margins. (Source: Forbes) When providers choose to relocate clinicians and clinical support employees to provide around the clock observation to at-risk patients, the costs associated are significant and staff satisfaction often declines. Outsourcing patient observation can unburden nursing staff and allow them to effectively tend to their entire patient load - not just at-risk patients.
Hospitals can easily minimize potential risks of these staffing and resource issues by utilizing a Virtual Patient Observation solution staffed with a one-to-ten observer to patient ratio will allow clinical staff to focus on clinical care. Virtual sitters can not only have a direct impact on the patient experience garnishing the benefits of 1:1 care, but also have an indirect impact on nurse satisfaction, which is linked to positive patient outcomes. (Source: Becker’s Hospital Review) It’s a win-win-win!
Virtual Observation Can Boost Patient Experience and Engagement.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines patient experience as the range of interactions that patients have with the healthcare system, including their care from health plans, doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals as well as other healthcare facilities. Communication between staff and patients is a crucial component of patient experience at hospital (Source: Health Leaders Media).
Deploying an in-patient remote observation solution with a built-in video conferencing component allows patients to communicate with their observer as much as needed. Patients often only see staff in full protective gear. Face-to-face communication provides comfort during scary, lonely, isolated times. Further, if the patient tries to get out of bed or is in distress, the clinical technician can use the camera's two-way speaker to converse with the patient, calm them down, and ask them to wait for a nurse.
4.5. BONUS! Virtual Sitters Can Boost the Family Experience.
Virtual patient observations also provide support to families! Safety observers can provide necessary relief for patients' families and loved ones by allowing these individuals to take breaks with peace of mind knowing a compassionate caregiver is still with the patient. When family members and loved ones are calmer and more rested, their experience with a hospital improves.
How Can MedSitter as a Virtual Patient Observation Solution be Leveraged in Your Hospital?
MedSitter is being used to monitor at-risk patients, prevent falls, and even curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals. This prevailing patient observation technology, combined with our robust clinical training and support program, can help you improve patient safety and satisfaction, all while unburdening nurses and saving costs.