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How MedSitter Supports Patient Mental Well-Being

Patient mental well being

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the mental well-being of patients admitted to the hospital. As a patient observation service, MedSitter can provide safe and humanizing connection for patients suffering from increased anxiety and depression.  

In recent years, the healthcare industry has made significant moves towards prioritize patient satisfaction. Communication, clinician/patient rapport, technologically advanced facilities, and best-in-class treatment all contribute to a good patient experience. Despite the many patient satisfaction initiatives hospitals have undertaken, a hospital stay is rarely enjoyable. The mental burden of any illness or injury that requires hospitalization is intense – and studies have shown that anxiety and depression plagues patient families as well. (Source: OJM International Journal of Medicine). Patients in isolation are particularly vulnerable to feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger. (Source: NCBI). The incredibly infectious nature of COVID-19 and its variants have led to an increase in patients who require isolation to keep other patients and staff members safe. Fortunately, the MedSitter remote patient observation system has allowed clinicians to check-in on patients without risking exposure to infectious disease. This has gone a long way towards improving the mental well-being of patients in isolation.  

COVID-19 and Inpatient Mental Well-Being 

A survey offered to COVID-19 patients in 2020 found that 75% of COVID inpatients reported feeling increased stress. Most cited the restrictions on family visitors and the inability to form bonds with their care team through extensive personal protective equipment (PPE). (Source: NCBI). The loss of social support during an inpatient stay, both from family members and from the treatment team has been incredibly challenging for patients. PPE measurably hampers communication (Source: NCBI). Clinicians have been advised to seek alternative communication methods, but overall, the loss of non-verbal cues has been difficult to reconcile. 

Social isolation is damaging even outside of the inpatient environment. Isolation and loneliness has been linked to a person’s risk of premature death, an increased risk of dementia, heart disease, and stroke. (Source: CDC). COVID-19 patients facing isolation are already vulnerable from the virus itself and are often left to contend with feelings of loneliness or isolation with little support.  

How MedSitter Supports Inpatient Mental Well-Being 

MedSitter was designed to be a patient safety tool. Initially conceptualized to help prevent patient falls, its impact has expanded beyond fall prevention and has proven to provide vital support to inpatients suffering from loneliness in isolation. With MedSitter, patients are under 24x7 observation from a remote sitter who can communicate with them with just the click of a button. When a virtual sitter needs to communicate with a patient, they can open a two-way audio and video connection so that both the patient and virtual sitter can see and hear one another. This means that an isolated patient is just a moment away from companionship at any given time. The remote sitter does not have to don PPE to interface with the patient, and no onsite staff has to risk COVID-19 exposure for a simple check-in. The simple fact that a COVID-19 patient can see the observer does a lot to humanize the communication experience. MedSitter observers are trained to interact socially with patients to alleviate feelings of isolation, and in most cases a strong rapport is established between patients and MedSitter observers. MedSitter can even support patients who do not speak English via pre-recorded messages in more than 60 language and a text-to-speech translation feature that allows virtual sitters to craft custom messages.  

Patient satisfaction is an important part of patient care, and MedSitter helps to improve patient satisfaction even amidst feelings of isolation in a devastating pandemic.  

If you would like to learn more or are interested in installing MedSitter in your healthcare facility. Visit the Contact Us page now.  

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