Remote Visual Monitoring During a Pandemic
Keeling E, Cadjoe J, Hawksworth L, Drake J, Davis T. J Nurs Meas. 2020;28(3):437-438.
Remote visual monitoring (RVM) is an evolving technology that is caught between cost-versus-benefit and competing priorities in today’s healthcare space Before the COVID-19 pandemic, resistance to RVM in the Inova Alexandria Hospital was high and the reasons why were attributed to:
The benefits of RVM became clear during the COVID-19 pandemic
Although RVM cameras were used to monitor patients with at-risk safety behavior, which is their normal use, they were also used in more creative clinical ways.
RVM became a much-needed extra set of eyes and ears for the staff at Inova
RVM cameras were quickly scaled up to be used in several ways:
With COVID-19, Inova deployed their cameras 100% of the time
Flexibility, ease of deployment, and ease of use were fundamental to the scalability, as well as to the overall usefulness of this technology.
Perhaps one of the most meaningful uses of RVM was also the most unexpected and most personal: A safety attendant took it upon themself to hum a hymn the patient’s daughter would sing when she visited. This patient was at the end of life and unaware of the restrictions brought on by the pandemic. This beautiful scene was made possible by RVM technology that was used in a way that no one could have imagined.
RVM, although relatively new to the patient safety tool kit, allowed Invova to maintain continuous observation of patients who might exhibit at-risk behavior while keeping the nurses protected from COVID-19 exposure. If there was anything good to have come out of the pandemic, it’s that technologies can be repurposed when an unexpected crisis requires scalable, flexible, innovative solutions.