Video Monitoring Reduces Patient Falls by 35 Percent, Study Shows
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Hospitals that deploy remote video monitoring systems staffed with dedicated, trained observers can reduce patient falls significantly, new clinical research has found. The research, funded by the Saint Mary’s Foundation, will be published in the peer-reviewed Nursing Economic$ – The Journal for Health Care Leaders.
The study compared the use of the AvaSys® TeleSitter® Solution along with standard fall precautions in three units of a large urban hospital for nine months against the use of the standard fall-prevention protocol. During the study phase, remote video monitoring with a dedicated observer was used for 12 patients at a time. The study demonstrated that remote video monitoring is a safe alternative to individual patient companions and that it significantly reduced patient falls. A total of 828 patients were monitored and falls decreased by 35%.
“The research shows that patients are safer when they are monitored by a trained, dedicated observer 24 hours a day,” said lead study author Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN, PCCN, Vice President of Clinical Quality and Innovation at AvaSure, the company that invented and distributes the AvaSys system.
Votruba pioneered remote video monitoring while working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., where the research was conducted. The study was co-authored by Bridget Graham, MSN, RN-BC, CNL; Ayesha Syed, BSN, RN-BC; and Jeana Wisinski, BSN, RN.
“AvaSys is the surest way to be certain that at-risk patients get 24-hour vigilant supervision and reassurance in real time. The technology virtually guarantees that when they have a need, expert nursing assistance is on the way,” says Melanie Dreher, PhD, an AvaSure adviser and chair of the national Trinity Health Board of Directors.
Clinical Evidence in Support of Video Monitoring
AvaSys is the only fall prevention video technology with peer-reviewed clinical research into its efficacy.
In July, the Journal of Nursing Administration is set to publish research by a team at the University of California San Diego Health System showing reduced sitter utilization through AvaSys and new protocols for monitoring.
“There was a significant return on investment, both at the organizational level (including units with and without AvaSys) and in the units where we implemented video monitoring,” said Paige Burtson, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, Associate Director of Nursing Medical Surgical Specialties at the health system. The online version of the article will include documentation tools and grids by unit of sitter costs over time, which should be valuable references for new hospitals implementing video monitoring for the first time, Burtson added.
Additional research about AvaSys’ effectiveness has been published in Patient Safety and Quality Healthcare magazine and presented by nursing leaders at national conferences such as the National Magnet Conference, the Nursing Management Congress, and the Collaborative Alliance for Nursing Outcomes (CalNOC) Annual Conference.
About Patient Falls
Patient falls are non-reimbursable “never events” and a high-risk, high-cost problem for hospitals. As many as 1 million patients suffer a fall each year, and at last 30 percent of inpatient falls result in moderate to severe injury. Since 2008, Medicare has refused to pay the extra cost of treating a fall with injury, which averages $27,000.
The AvaSys® TeleSitter® Solution, manufactured and distributed by AvaSure®, is a remote patient observation and communications platform that enables both visual and audio monitoring of patients at risk of falls. It allows a single caregiver to keep track of as many as 15 patients at once from a central monitoring station. These trained observers can vocally intervene with patients – while simultaneously summoning a nurse – long enough to avert harm. AvaSys uniquely provides mobile audio-visual observation units, which can simply be wheeled into a room and turned on, giving nurses instant room coverage.
Since its introduction in 2008, AvaSys has become the fastest-growing technology to prevent falls and other injurious behavior. Regional health systems such as Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Inova Health System in Virginia, University of California Health, Partners Healthcare in Boston, UnityPoint Health in Iowa and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Wisconsin have adopted AvaSys, as have national systems such as Ascension Health, Dignity Health, HCA, Mercy Health, Tenet Healthcare and Trinity Health.
About Nursing Economic$
Nursing Economic$ advances nursing leadership in health care, with a focus on tomorrow, by providing information and thoughtful analyses of current and emerging best practices in health care management, economics, and policymaking. The journal supports nurse leaders and others who are responsible for directing nursing’s impact on health care cost and quality outcomes. The journal is published six times per year.