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Goals for Virtual Patient Observation

MedSitter Staff Nov 15, 2022 11:17:17 AM

While patient safety is our priority, there are many reasons to use MedSitter. Read our goals for virtual patient observation with systems like MedSitter.


When we founded MedSitter, we were addressing an important issue within the marketplace. Patient falls, despite being deemed a never event by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, still occur every day in hospitals across the nation. While patient safety is our priority, there are surprisingly many other reasons to use MedSitter. Let’s take a look below at some of the goals for virtual patient observation with systems like MedSitter.

Stop Patient Adverse Events

The best way to reduce inpatient falls is to stop patient falls before they happen with a remote observation system like MedSitter. With remote observation, patient observers are trained to help prevent adverse events. With an observer, a patient is never truly alone. If they enter a dangerous situation, an observer is there to re-direct them or alert onsite medical staff

But it doesn’t stop there. MedSitter observers can actually stop adverse events across the board. We stop patients from wandering, alerting someone when a patient is anxious or becoming aggressive, stop confused patients from taking unauthorized prescriptions, alert someone about a device malfunction, and more. Our observers are a true part of the care team. Patients are attended to more quickly and efficiently, and outcomes are improved. To read real life examples of prevented medical errors, read our white paper here.

Improve Patient Satisfaction

Patient satisfaction is defined as a subjective measure of whether a patient’s expectations about a health encounter were met. (Source: Guideway Care) In recent years, the healthcare industry has made significant moves towards prioritizing patient satisfaction—don’t forget, patient satisfaction scores have been linked to federal reimbursements and value-based incentive payments. Many things contribute to a good patient experience, from best-in-class treatment to technologically advanced facilities. However, that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a multitude of ways to improve patient experience, including both employee engagement and overall patient attentiveness. So, how does a hospital improve in these areas? With the help of MedSitter, remote patient observation.

MedSitter is a remote patient observation solution that allows one virtual patient sitter (your employee) to watch up to ten patients at one time. Some of the best ways to improve employee engagement is through attentiveness: developing a rapport with patients, communicating consistently to patients, and listening to patients. When a patient is under MedSitter observation, there is someone paying attention to them at all times. The idea is that the MedSitter observer can immediately address any needs or concerns the patient may have. The observer is there when the nurse is not – they are attentive and engaged

Assist Overburdened Nurses / Help with Nursing Shortage

The story of healthcare staffing shortages is nothing new. What began in the 1930s, due to multiple technology, economic, and health care-related events, is something that seems to be a never-ending tale. (Source: Penn Nursing) The demand for nurses has simply grown so high that the United States is having a difficult time keeping up. Despite seemingly overwhelming challenges, medical staff has been able to persevere. This is largely due to innovative healthcare technology that can help one provider to do more with less. One such piece of digital tech that has been taking the medical staffing world by storm is virtual patient observation. With MedSitter virtual patient observation, one patient observer (or patient sitter) can watch up to ten patients at once. So how does this new technology benefit nurses?

Patient observation programs are often managed by nursing departments. While the sitters are not likely to be registered nurses themselves, common qualifications include CNA, AHA Certification, Certified Patient Care Technician, and LPN. (Source: Indeed) A remote observation solution can turn one patient observer into ten. One observer at a command station can effectively monitor multiple patients at once, thus extending staff resources without sacrificing patient safety. Additionally, remote observers are able to maintain distance from contagious patients, which improves workplace safety. Overall, this system supports nurses by saving them time and effort.

Help Hospitals Save Money

Sitter management often falls within the nursing department. However, the ongoing nursing shortage has made it challenging to support a 1:1 onsite sitting program, and thus remote patient observation has begun to emerge as an optimal solution. The financial impact of remote patient observers can be incredibly substantial. Simply putting observer in charge of multiple patients saves in payroll, tax, management, and worker’s compensation expenses.

Falls have also been deemed a “never event” by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, (Source: Patient Safety Network) which means that reimbursement for patient falls is severely limited. When a patient falls in a hospital and sustains injury, it extends the length of that patient’s stay by 6.3 days on average and costs the hospital $14,000 on average. (Source: Joint Commission Resources) One avoided fall from an observer that is being leveraged to watch multiple patients can pay for the entire remote patient observation system.

Keep Staff Safe

MedSitter can also be used as a virtual witness for staff that are performing diagnostic exams independently—especially when those exams or procedures may compromise patient dignity.

Think of different instances where a patient makes accusations against a health care worker. Until the health care worker is proven innocent or guilty, there’s time off work, an investigation, loss of wages, and so much more. Or what about an aggressive patient that puts the nursing staff at risk for injury, themselves? How nice would it be to know that, as a clinician, you have that extra set of eyes to back up what you're doing?

These are our goals for virtual patient observation: stopping patient adverse events, improving patient satisfaction, assisting overburdened nurses, helping hospitals save money, and keeping staff safe. These are just a few of the reasons your patients, staff, and hospital can benefit from remote patient observation. If you are interested in seeing more examples of how patient observation can be leveraged in other areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, rehabilitation hospitals, nursing facilities, behavioral health hospitals, and more, you can watch our recently recorded webinar here.

If you are interested in installing MedSitter in your healthcare facility, visit our Contact Us page now.

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