Topic: Virtual Sitting

Decreasing falls and cutting costs in the LTACH setting

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare reveals inspiring results with the TeleSitter® solution

During AvaSure’s Digital Summit, Henry C. Hrdlicka, PhD, Director of Research, Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation presented recent findings from Gaylord Specialty Healthcare’s TeleSitter® program. Watch here.

Inpatient falls are a universal safety concern in healthcare facilities, and their consequences can be devastating. This is especially a concern in the LTACH setting where individual risk is increased by anticipated longer lengths of stay & early and frequent encouragement of patient mobility. Up until now, 1:1 patient sitters have been the primary option for ensuring patient safety, however, staffing 1:1 sitters is a costly solution that can pull much needed hands from the bedside.

“Often the demand for 1:1 sitters outpaces staff availability. This accrues a massive financial burden on any institution. These factors have been further exacerbated due to ongoing national staffing shortages as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. This led us to the conclusion that an alternative needed to be found.”

Henry C. Hrdlicka, PhD, Director of Research, Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation

Gaylord Specialty Healthcare, a rehabilitation-focused nonprofit healthcare system, embarked on a study to assess the impact of continuous virtual monitoring on inpatient falls and 1:1 sitter usage. In partnership with the Milne Institute for Healthcare Innovation, the study was carried out at Gaylord Hospital, a 137-bed Long-Term Acute Care Hospital (LTACH), in Connecticut. The results of this research not only demonstrated a profound impact on patient safety but also revealed a promising opportunity for significant cost savings that can benefit healthcare facilities across the board.

Community Health Systems to expand virtual sitting to 29 hospitals

Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems plans to expand virtual sitting to 29 hospitals as the program has been successful in preventing patient falls.

The 78-hospital system started piloting the sitting platform from telehealth company AvaSure in 2021 at two locations. The program later expanded to 15 CHS hospitals in Arkansas, Indiana and Tennessee, and the health system plans to roll it out at another 12 facilities by the end of 2023. No patients in the program reported any falls with injuries in 2022.

“We really are able to clearly create some efficiencies and redeploy caregivers back to the bedside,” Lynn Simon, MD, president of healthcare innovation and chief medical officer of Community Health Systems, told Becker’s.

Remote “sitters” operate out of a CHS hospital in Tennessee, each monitoring 12 to 16 high-risk patients at a time for signs they might be getting up or otherwise be in danger of a fall.

“They have eyes on the patients at all times,” Dr. Simon said. “There’s also two-way audio, so the person watching can audio into the room and talk and have a conversation with the patient, ask them if they’re uncomfortable, remind them to stay in bed. That conversation seems to be the difference. It’s more than just alerting the nurse — that does happen when the patient appears to be trying to get out of bed — but it’s really about the back-and-forth communication with the patient that helps keep them safe and keeps them from falling.”

Since implementing the program, the health system has experienced up to a 76 percent drop in falls at some hospitals, Dr. Simon said.

Community Health Systems’ big bet on virtual sitting comes at a time when many health systems are going all in on virtual nursing. CHS has had some “small” virtual nursing pilots, helping with things like patient admission and discharge, but is still in the “exploration stages” for that model, Dr. Simon said.

“The biggest value that we’re seeing that we’ve been able to scale is the virtual sitting, but we do intend to continue to iterate with our other virtual nursing opportunities,” she said.

See the article on Becker’s Health or watch the webinar to get the full story.

KLAS Report Recognizes AvaSure as a Complete Virtual Care Platform That Improves Patient Safety while Reducing Costs & Staff Workloads

Survey of AvaSure customers reveals that 100% would purchase virtual care platform again, 72% achieve outcomes in six months or less.

BELMONT, Mich., Aug. 23, 2023 — AvaSure, the market leader in acute virtual care and remote safety monitoring, announced today that a new report from KLAS revealed high customer satisfaction with the company’s virtual care platform. KLAS reported on AvaSure in September 2021, and the new report offers a second look at how the overall customer experience has improved over the last two years.

The Second Look Performance report, which is based on structured interviews with AvaSure customers, revealed that all interviewed customers are satisfied to highly satisfied, saying AvaSure has continued to improve and deliver on its product, and that every respondent would buy again.

Customers highlighted the AvaSure platform’s ability to deliver a noticeable improvement on patient-safety outcomes, reduce falls and fall-related injuries, decrease the number of sitters required, and catch patient complications earlier. 72% of surveyed customers told KLAS they achieve outcomes in six months or less and 36% achieve outcomes immediately.

Additionally, AvaSure’s platform received top marks from customers across a wide range of categories, including ease of use, quality of implementation, quality of training, integration approach, and delivering its money’s worth. 100% of AvaSure customers told KLAS they would purchase the virtual care platform again.

“We are proud to have earned top marks from KLAS again and would like to thank our customers for their partnership in improving patient safety while reducing staff workloads,” said Adam McMullin, CEO, AvaSure. “AvaSure provides the most clinically proven solution on the market and we are committed to helping our customers achieve a step function improvement in their results. Beyond industry-leading technology, AvaSure has a dedicated clinical team that partners with our customers and is even further ahead when it comes to clinical evidence of success in solving patient and staff safety and nursing resource challenges that health systems are facing today.”

AvaSure offers an innovative virtual care model that integrates virtual staff into current clinical workflows to enhance the work experience for bedside nurses and elevate the quality of patient care they deliver while also reducing labor costs.

AvaSure customer quotes from the KLAS report:

  • “AvaSure has done a really good job because they have made their hardware nimble enough to support not only virtual observation functions but also virtual nursing concepts. The vendor is making resources available for a variety of different services and applications.” — Vice President, August 2023
  • “AvaSure’s chief nursing officer drives research and is very interested in it. That is a really positive thing about the company because they are not just about the product. They are really trying to focus on patient safety and the outcomes. That is important. AvaSure should continue to drive things, especially as they are looking at their AI solution, pushing alerts to the staff, and integrating with EMRs that hospitals are using.” — Director, August 2023
  • “Our sitter hours have improved while using this solution. We have been able to compare the sitting hours to the camera hours. The reduction in fall rates at the hospitals is something we are tracking, and according to the literature, everybody who has used this tool has reported a reduction in falls. There is also a reduction in elopements and medical device interference.” —Director, August 2023

Additionally, customers noted that AvaSure’s strengths include:

  • Hardware is more versatile beyond virtual observation
  • Product research is focused on patient safety outcomes
  • Outcomes from the platform are clear and quickly realized

KLAS is a research organization that helps healthcare providers make informed technology decisions by offering impartial vendor performance information.

AvaSure can be used for more than preventing patient falls. Download a new AvaSure white paper on virtual monitoring for low-to-moderate suicide risk patients. 

About AvaSure

AvaSure provides the leading hospital virtual care platform to systems with nursing and staffing shortages that are challenged to significantly reduce labor costs without sacrificing patient health outcomes. Recognized by KLAS Research as the leader in reducing the cost of patient care, AvaSure is the pioneer in providing best-in-class, video-based AvaSure TeleSitter® and TeleNurse™ solutions. As a trusted partner of more than 1,000 hospitals, AvaSure combines remote patient monitors, virtual nurses and other providers on a single platform to enhance clinical care without placing any additional burdens on existing staff. To learn more about AvaSure visit www.avasure.com.

See the Press Release here.

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Media Contacts:

Marcia Rhodes

Amendola Communications

mrhodes@acmarketingpr.com

4 Key insights from AvaSure’s first digital summit

Last week AvaSure hosted our 1st Annual Digital Summit: Start, Scale & Succeed with Virtual Sitting. During this one-day educational event, we featured over 10 current AvaSure customers to share their best practices & learnings from deploying virtual sitting programs.  Read on to hear how they were able to improve outcomes, optimize their labor force and protect staff all while helping to reduce costs.

There were so many exceptional discussions centered around today’s challenges – staffing being front and center. We know that hospitals across the U.S. are struggling to find enough nurses and support staff to run efficiently, so technology is helping to bridge the gap. With the AvaSure TeleSitter® Solution, hospitals are replacing the need for traditional 1:1 sitters by using Virtual Safety Attendants (VSAs) to monitor up to 12 patients remotely while reducing adverse events. Seem too good to be true? The results just may be.

How Valley Health Reduced the Use of 1:1 Sitters While Decreasing Falls

Valley Health System shared their story of starting a TeleSitter program four years ago that has gone on to help:

  • Reduce falls with injury by 50%
  • Save over $1 million dollars from combined fall reduction and sitter cost reduction
  • Achieve an 80% device utilization across the system

When discussing why they chose to work with AvaSure, they said, “We wanted to work with the experts to show us how this has worked at other organizations. Other organizations have made mistakes, had those mistakes corrected and so we are the beneficiaries of that. We wanted to focus on what we are good at. What we aren’t good at is setting up our own sitter program. But, what we are good at is knowing our needs, selecting the best partner out there and picking someone who could address our needs today & help us go beyond that in the future.” AvaSure has helped over 1,000 customers just like Valley Health start their programs and we have the clinical expertise to help make it as turnkey as possible for your staff.

Use Cases for TeleSitter solutions extend beyond just falls

Success of virtual sitting extends beyond just the acute care setting, Gaylord Specialty Healthcare gave a sneak preview of yet-to-be published results of how AvaSure helped optimize their LTACH program.

While virtual sitting programs may be best known for helping reduce falls, their use extends far beyond that one use case. We heard from Rachel Krajnovich, MSN, RN-BC, Director of Clinical Operations at HCA Kingwood on utilizing virtual monitoring for suicide risk & behavioral health patients.

  • Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the U.S. across all age groups and the number of patients requiring suicide monitoring in acute care has increased 165% since 2019
  • 45% of hospitals that utilize AvaSure have monitored over 75,000 suicide risk patients across 45 states

This lesser-known use case can be extremely effective in helping to monitor low and moderate suicide risk patients, and is proven to be equally effective to in-person sitters for this population(1). These customers shared best practices regarding how they evaluate patients to be placed in the program, how they helped to get physicians and staff on board with utilizing virtual monitoring for this high-risk population and how it has helped them extend access of needed yet scarce mental health resources in ERs today.

Expanding to other use cases is just one example of scaling your program, you can also help to extend the reach of your program across various facilities in your system, helping you to achieve greater scale and efficiency. Providence Oregon Region shared how they built a ‘hub and spoke’ model – which involves having devices across multiple facilities with monitor staff at one, centralized hub watching patients across the system. This can help create a highly effective staff that is able to protect patients across the system and optimize your device utilization. Hear how they were able to achieve an average stat alarm response time of 12-15 seconds, well below the national average of 17 seconds.

Virtual Safety Attendants are Key to Program Success

 As always, one of our most popular sessions was best practices from Virtual Safety Attendants – sharing how they’ve built teams of heroes that work 24/7 to connect with patients, keep them safe, keep them calm & help assist them on their recovery journey. We heard from a VSA, Tom Dezell from Froedtert, who shared when thinking back on advice he’d give himself on his first day:

 “That I cannot let my fear of something happening to the patient interfere with my taking care of the patient. In other words, I can’t respond out of fear, I have to respond out of patient advocacy and confidence.”

His demonstrated commitment to his patients brought emotions to all who listened as he spoke so passionately and eloquently about the time he spends helping patients.


What Does the Future of Virtual Care Look Like?

We closed the day with Claire Zangerle, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAONL, FAAN, Nurse Executive with CMZ Strategies, LLC discussing the future of virtual care with AvaSure Chief Clinical Officer, Lisbeth Votruba, MSN, RN. In discussing her hopes for the future of nursing in this new virtual care environment she said,

“It’s our time as nurses to step up and make sure we’re listened to. We have to tell people how great it is to be a nurse and what it means to be a nurse. We’re in danger of people saying that the job is too hard to do. Everyone wants to work remote now, you can’t be hands on and work remote. You have to promote the value of human interaction, it’s so important. We know we don’t have enough staff and enough people to do human interaction whether it’s in a hospital, ASC, community health center, we know we don’t have enough people. We need to meet patients where they are, and we need to think of new ways to meet patients. We aren’t thinking about this because we don’t have enough staff, it’s also because that’s what patients want. We are looking at ways to make sure they get what they want.”

Nursing has always been and will always be an essential and noble profession that relies on hands-on patient care, clinical expertise & empathizers who care deeply about the lives of their patients. AvaSure believes that nurses should always be central to care, which is why we featured nurses throughout our summit – as moderators, hosts & panelists to demonstrate the vital role they play in the shifting care model moving forward.

We look forward to sharing more insights, recaps and full session replays of Digital Summit for those who have missed it, and we look forward to seeing you IN-PERSON at our upcoming Annual Symposium October 25th – 26th in Grand Rapids, Michigan – learn more here.

1 Kroll, D. S. et al., (2020). Virtual monitoring of suicide risk in the general hospital and emergency department. General hospital psychiatry, 63, 33–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2019.01.002

The Miriam Honored for Reducing Patient Falls with Use of Monitoring Devices

PROVIDENCE – AvaSure, a Michigan-based patient-monitoring system producer, honored the hospital with its Path to Zero Award in late September.

With the use of audiovisual equipment in patients’ rooms, The Miriam saw its rate of patient falls drop by 25% during its second year of using the devices.

The hospital has used the equipment for about three years.

Designed to monitor patients with impaired mobility or conditions such as dementia, the portable cameras allow hospital staff to keep a remote eye on patients who may be at risk for falling. Staff can speak to patients through a microphone built into the device and quickly send a nurse to hospital rooms to help patients who need help to safely stand up or move around.

“The Miriam Hospital has played a significant role in making strides toward change with the use of our technology. As has been shown in numerous clinical and economic studies, AvaSure is in tune with the need for cost-effective, quality care,” said Lisbeth Votruba, vice president of clinical quality and innovation at AvaSure.

Read the full article on Providence Business News.