VA North Texas Health LVN receives National VA Award for utilizing AvaSure TeleSitter™ solution to improve patient safety, fill staffing gaps - AvaSure

VA North Texas Health LVN receives National VA Award for utilizing AvaSure TeleSitter™ solution to improve patient safety, fill staffing gaps

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Juliet Aninye, LVN, MBA, HCM, AvaSure Clinical Program Lead at VA North Texas Health System, received the national VA Secretary’s Award for Excellence in Nursing and Advancement in Nursing Programs for non-staff nurses. Aninye was recognized for her leadership in the delivery of patient care through optimizing the utilization of the AvaSure program. The award was presented to her in May by VA Secretary Denis R. McDonough at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

BELMONT, Mich., July 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Like other healthcare organizations, VA hospitals across the country are facing severe headwinds from staffing shortages, safety risks for patients and staff, and the need for improved outcomes. As the largest health system in the country, the VA has long held the adoption of healthcare technologies at the forefront.

Among these technological solutions is the AvaSure TeleSitter™ solution. As an approved Technology Reference Model (TRM) with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the AvaSure TeleSitter solution has been used in VA hospitals for 6 years. Currently deployed in over 24 VA hospitals across the country, the technology allows one trained hospital employee to monitor up to 16 patients simultaneously, preventing not only falls but elopement, violence against caregivers and other adverse events.

Juliet Aninye, LVN, MBA, HCM, serves as the health system’s AvaSure Clinical Program Lead. Under her leadership, the health system has monitored more than 2,500 patients and instilled practices that have improved safety and efficiency measures and are recognized as a best practice by The Joint Commission.

Highlights of the AvaSure Clinical program led by Aninye include:
  • Improving the utilization rate from 45% to 78%
  • Improving staffing and resource utilization for the entire facility, resulting in a savings of 55 FTE per month
  • During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the technology helped providers communicate through the TeleSitter camera, fostering a safe and effective way for staff to interact with COVID-19 patients while decreasing providers’ exposure in the room.
  • Helping trained monitor staff closely watch for risky behavior and medical emergencies. Aninye describes a time when the monitor observed a patient mixing an unidentified substance into his soda that should not be consumed while on specific medications, as well as a critical time when a monitor staff responded to a patient that had stopped breathing after the nurse left to tend to other patients. Because of the monitor staff’s actions, the code team arrived quickly and resuscitated the veteran.

Aninye’s role is to collaborate with nurses throughout the facility to evaluate patients that would be appropriate to place in a room equipped with a TeleSitter solution in order to prevent falls and adverse patient events. She also works with the nursing assistant monitor team and the VA’s Office of Information & Technology department to ensure that the system remains operational 24/7.

“As I walk the halls (every day), I hear the monitor staff helping patients who may otherwise wait hours for someone to solve a need, whether it’s getting them something to drink or helping them get needed pain medication,” said Aninye.

Nurses and patients alike appreciate knowing there’s someone always keeping a close eye and ear on patients. This extra care has been shown to decrease anxiety in the hospital room setting.

“We are the only ones watching 24 hours a day,” said Aninye. “We are caring for those who have gone to battle and their families and caregivers, so we want to create a safe place for their health and well-being, and that starts with keeping patients safe in the hospital.”