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Keeping pediatric patients safe with virtual monitoring

While many may associate virtual monitoring/virtual sitting with falls risk patients, there are a number of ways that the use of Virtual Safety Attendants (VSAs) and video-based monitoring technology can positively impact pediatric patients. Increasing in importance as hospitals across the nation and being exacerbated by persistent staffing shortages and the concurrent mental health crisis amongst young Americans.

The most prevalent use cases for virtual sitting in the pediatric space include:

Low-Moderate Suicide Risk

According to a JAMA editorial, suicide is up by 69.5% for children and adolescents making it essential to have solutions in place for monitoring these patients.

Eating Disorders

While supervision is generally considered an essential element of caring for hospitalized patients with eating disorders, it is costly, reduces staff availability for the care of other patients, and can be a barrier for patients.

Substance Abuse

Children that suffer from either intentional drug exposure due to substance abuse or, as is a rising trend due to the legalization of marijuana in many states, unintentional drug exposure are typically candidates for 1:1 monitoring during a portion of their stay.


While falls in the most thought of sense may not be a risk in pediatric populations, infant falls are a severely under-reported adverse event that can be costly and add to the patient’s length of stay. Often occurring when a parent falls asleep while holding the newborn, dropping the neonate to the floor, an infant fall can occur during transfer of the child from one person to another, by a family member or a slip and fall of family or staff.

Workplace Violence Prevention

Health care workers are 4 times more likely to suffer violence than workers in other industries. Prevention in the pediatric setting can be especially challenging as patients with behavioral tendencies for physical violence (i.e. hitting and biting) may not be identified prior to admission.

Child Protective Use Cases

Non-Accidental Trauma: When there is a concern with the family member, or visitors, behavior that raises a safety concern for a child, it can also present a safety concern for a 1:1 sitter assigned to be in the room.

No Family at Bedside: When children are very ill, parents are not always able to spend time at their bedside due to work commitments and caring for other children, which can create a sense of distress.

Medical Device Interference

Certain devices including IVs, catheters, drains and tubes have placement that is essential to the health, recovery and well-being of the pediatric patient. Virtual Sitting can be useful in keeping extra eyes on these patients, notifying caregivers on the floor if the child is pulling at, twisting or attempting to intentionally or non-intentionally remove the device.

Used in various settings: Emergency Department, Pediatric Units, NICU, PICU, Pediatric Hospitals

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