Improving Patient Safety Through Video Monitoring

Fall Prevention, Sitter Reduction

May 6, 2018

81% of staff reports positive benefit to themselves and patients in addition to reduction in hospital wide falls and decrease sitter costs.

Improving Patient Safety Through Video Monitoring
Cournan M, Fusco-Gessick B, Wright L. Rehabil Nurs. 2018;43(2):111-115.


Patients receive mixed messages—try to be as independent as possible, but don’t do anything in your room without calling for assistance. Falls are a significant issue in rehabilitation settings. Patients are encouraged to be as independent as possible, yet not to do anything without assistance. This mixed message leads to the increased risk for falls in this setting.


Video monitoring significantly lowers the risk of falls. The focus of this project was on a 31-bed brain injury unit of an inpatient rehabilitation facility where the majority of falls occurred. Fifteen video monitoring units were installed and total falls and falls rates were tracked.

With video monitoring:

  • The average number of falls was decreased to 6.87 falls per 1000 patient-days compared with 10.26 falls per 1000 patient-days before video monitoring was implemented. This is a statistically significant improvement
  • There were 32 fewer falls in a 1-year period
  • There was a reduction in costs due to falls and fall-related injuries of at least $40,000 —this sum is thought to be a conservative estimate
  • The hospital saved nearly $190,000 on the cost of 1:1 sitters
  • Total costs for the video monitoring system were recouped in 12 months of continued use

Staff response to the video monitoring system has been strongly favorable.

  • 81% of respondents indicated either a generally or strongly favorable reaction to the video monitors
  • Nearly all respondents—96%—felt that video monitoring did not intrude on privacy


Video monitoring can provide greater safety for patients by decreasing falls. Additionally, video monitoring decreases sitter usage and its cost, and enhances satisfaction.

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