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When a fall-risk patient at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston is monitored remotely by video, the person watching is trained and ready to intervene if the patient is in danger.
The monitor is a hospital employee, either a certified nurse assistant or medical technician, says Mary Ann Euliarte, RN, MSN, MBA, vice president of operations and chief nursing officer at TIRR. A single monitor can oversee as many as 15 patients.
At the monitoring station, the patient is observed continuously, even at night when the lights are dim. If the patient begins to get out of bed, the staff member talks to the patient over the speaker. If the patient does not speak English, the system can issue pre-recorded simple commands in as many as 250 languages.
If the patient needs something such as water or to go to the bathroom, the staff member summons help, Euliarte explains.
Costs for the system will vary according to the number of units employed, but the maker of TIRR’s system says the video monitoring pays for itself in 3-6 months with reduced sitter costs and reduced fall rates.