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How Virtual Patient Observation Protects Patients

Virtual patient observation connects at-risk patients to remote observers over video. But how does remote patient observation like MedSitter protect patients?

In recent years, hospitals and health systems are being stretched thin. While the market will not change overnight, some of the technological advancements can provide a viable solution to the shortage, stress, and burnout that nursing departments are facing—virtual patient observation. 

Virtual patient observation is a technology-enabled solution that connects at-risk patients to remote observers over video. Mobile devices equipped with cameras are left with patients. An observer at a command center can observe multiple patients at one time via a video connection and can contact both the patient and onsite medical staff as necessary. Utilizing one patient observer for several patients serves to stretch staff resources without sacrificing patient safety.  

MedSitter, in particular, puts one patient observer in front of up to ten patients at one time. MedSitter hardware and software were designed for clinicians and include some innovative features that are not seen anywhere else in the market—including persistent video, night vision, and cross-language communication. So how does virtual patient observation protect patients? 

Stop Patient Falls 

The patient sitter is put in a control center and can watch anything that will help prevent the patient from harming themselves or others. The MedSitter devices allow a close view of the patient, zoom-in and zoom-out panning to catch any conditions in the room that could cause the patient to fall, and privacy settings to help ensure the patient feels comfortable while being observed. 

And what if something happens or is about to happen? How does Virtual Observation prevent falls, wandering patients, self-harm, or other potential issues? There are a variety of tools within MedSitter to escalate potential harm, like alarms that alert nurses to an issue or possible issue like a patient too close to the edge of a bed or leaving their room; verbal commands that advise the patient to change a dangerous behavior; and reporting tools that allow PSOs to record issues as written notes or take photos of patient rooms. The information they share can make clinical staff or other PSOs aware of things to watch. 

Support Patient Mental Well-Being 

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 simple fact that a 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. 

With MedSitter, a patient is never alone. In fact, our logo is an angelfish because angelfish are never found alone in nature. They always move in pairs. We want our solution to provide companionship to patients so that they never feel truly alone during their hospital stays. 

Expedite Patient Requests 

One of the great functions of MedSitter remote patient observation is the ability to handle simple patient requests. Because of the audio and video connection, if patients have a simple request, the patient sitter can handle it. The provider won’t have to come into the room if a patient simply wants to ask how to answer their phone, how to use a call light, or how to use the bed controls. These simple patient requests would take a provider off the floor. But with MedSitter, patient sitters can expedite these quick questions. 

Virtual patient observation has had a dramatic effect on the risks and issues that hospitals and clinical facilities have been struggling to prevent for years. Many large systems are reporting reductions in patient falls and reduced cost of additional care and staffing. The extra sets of eyes are also supporting patients’ mental well-being. 

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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