A remote video monitoring system can significantly reduce hospital costs while maintaining quality of care, according to peer-reviewed clinical research. Results of a two-year pilot study of the AvaSys TeleSitter Solution at University of San Diego Health System (UCSDHS) were published in the July/August 2015 issue of The Journal of Nursing Administration.
Remote video monitoring is an alternative to the patient sitters many hospitals employ for patients at risk of falling or other dangers. A single nurse watches the video feeds of up to 15 patients. (For more information on remote video monitoring, see Healthcare Risk Management, July 2015.)
The study compared the use of AvaSys and a nursing-driven sitter use protocol in nine units of a 595-bed hospital against the use of human sitters. During the 21-month study, six remote video monitoring units were used. Five months into the study, UCSDHS responded to literature showing that one-on-one human sitters are not effective at reducing patient falls by introducing a sitter protocol that allowed live sitters only for patients at risk of suicide, elopement, or risk of harming others.
The study demonstrated that remote video monitoring saved the health system $772,000 in the first year and $1.7 million in the second. The cost of the AvaSys system in the first two years was $82,482. In the same time period, for most quarters, UCSDHS outperformed or equaled national benchmarks for falls and falls with injury.
The study can be accessed online at http://tinyurl.com/o9zw23p.