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Reduce Patient Fall Rates and 1:1 Sitter Staffing
How can hospitals provide 24/7 monitoring for high-risk patients without incurring unsustainable labor costs?
Patient in a hospital bed

As hospitals evaluate ways to improve patient falls, patient outcomes, advance patient safety and address staffing shortages while minimizing costs, they face a pressing concern: How can they provide 24/7 monitoring for high-risk patients without incurring unsustainable labor costs?

Twenty-three healthcare leaders gathered April 13 for a roundtable discussion sponsored by AvaSure at Becker’s Hospital Review’s 9th Annual Meeting, where Terry Olinger, president of the Hospitals and Clinics Acute Care Group at Great Falls, Mont.-based Benefis Health System, shared how the system used the AvaSys® TeleSitter video-observation system to improve patient safety and lower staffing costs.

“The thing I was really skeptical about was, will this make a difference? … but the [system] really does work … it’s amazing when you see it in action,” Mr. Olinger said. Benefis has been using AvaSys for about two years, with funding support from its foundation.

The AvaSys room unit is offered in three options: a mobile cart, a portable wall-mounted unit or a permanent ceiling unit.  It lets a single monitor technician keep tabs via video on up to 12 patient rooms from a command center – at Benefis it is in the patient flow center. The monitor tech can use the two-way audio to immediately intervene via two-way audio when a patient is at risk of self-harm, such as a fall. The monitor tech can talk to the patient to verbally redirect them. If the situation is emergent, the tech can activate an alarm and a nurse will know to get there right away. Overall, AvaSys helps improve staffing efficiencies by allowing nursing assistants to stay on the floor instead of watching patients 1:1.

Mr. Olinger outlined how the hospital reduced both staffing costs and patient falls.

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