This Friday, April 7, is World Health Day. The World Health Organization’s 75th anniversary year is an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today—and tomorrow.
MedSitter is always looking for ways to improve patient care. 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 that can help patients and staff alike improve the quality of care given.
Observation in Acute Care
Orthopedics & Neurology
Think of patients that are on mobility limitations. Maybe they're not supposed to be using their right arm but keep doing so. How nice would it be to have someone to remind them, every time they go to use their right arm, to not use it? Often times, nurses just don’t have the time to stay in the patient’s room to tell them not to use their right arm every five minutes. This example could be applied to any limb, or even a post lumbar puncture patient. The more we can keep patients from doing harmful things, the faster they can heal. Their length of stay should therefore decrease, which, in turns, saves the hospital money, as well.
Let’s say you have a patient that's getting ready for surgery, who is NPO (nothing by mouth). You just administered some IV medication to this patient and there was no family present. Fifteen minutes later, you come back to do a dressing change and guess what? The patient’s family showed with a fast-food milkshake, which your patient drank. Surgery is now delayed two days. That’s two extra days this patient now has to stay in the hospital for something a MedSitter observer could have tried to prevent. Had MedSitter been established in the room, and it was communicated to make sure the patient had nothing by mouth, the delay could have been completely avoided. This illustrates just how important it is to have that extra set of eyes.
Observation in Diagnostic Care Areas
One place that a hospital put a MedSitter cart was in the radiology hallway to keep an extra set of eyes on patients, where there isn’t a ton of staff traffic. At one time, they noticed there was a patient parked in the radiology holding area with no way for the patient to alert anyone when they needed assistance. The MedSitter observer saw the patient turning blue, so they turned the alarm on and got staff to the area immediately. The unthinkable was prevented simply because there was an extra set of eyes available to keep the patient safe.
MedSitter could 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?
Observation in the Emergency Department
The emergency department is such a busy area of a hospital. Patient status can change dramatically at any given moment. Is your patient a frequent flyer? Is this a drug seeking patient? Is this a trafficking situation that requires extra eyes? The non-frequent flyer emergency department patient is unfamiliar to hospital staff. Imagine you’re caring for a patient that’s having back pain, COVID-19 respiratory distress, or a broken arm. You never know when you're going to get a trauma patient called in that takes you away. Wouldn't it be nice to have an extra set of eyes on your patients, especially if you are unfamiliar with them? What if you just have a feeling that something’s off about the situation? Until a full work up is completed, it can be helpful to visually monitor emergency department patients. Once admitted to the hospital, the MedSitter observer can also help the nurse give a detailed report.
These are just a few of the additional reasons your patients need 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.
MedSitter will also be attending AONL 2023 in Anaheim this year! If you are attending as well, please stop by the MedSitter booth (782) to say hello—and receive a raffle ticket for an exclusive prize!