System said to reduce falls, transfers in elderly

Also helps reduce other adverse events

A fall reduction system that encourages caregivers to respond early to warning signs has been proven to significantly reduce falls, according to the manufacturer.

EarlySense, based in Waltham, MA, announced the results of a multi-center clinical study demonstrating that the system helps medical teams at rehabilitation centers to reduce patient falls as well as the number of patients transferred back to the hospital.

The technology involves continuous patient monitoring in hospitals and rehabilitation homes by monitoring patients’ heart rate, respiration, and movement without touching the patients. Eight hundred and thirty-three patient records at The Dorot Geriatric Center, a 374-bed facility in Netanya, Israel, and 773 records at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, an 870-bed skilled nursing facility in Riverdale, NY, were collected and reviewed over six months. The transfer rate to the hospital decreased by 21% at Dorot, and the falls rate decreased by 38.5% at the Hebrew Home.

The contact-free sensing capabilities and immediate data transfer enable nurses to proactively provide personalized patient care and potentially prevent adverse events, the company says. Through continuous patient supervision, the system can help staff reduce the risk of patient falls and effectively work toward decreasing other adverse events, such as pressure ulcers.

The data was presented recently at the 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) by Hebrew Home medical director and study principal investigator Zachary J. Palace, MD.

"The system also alerted regarding early warning signs of patient deterioration, which enabled our medical team to proactively respond and literally save four lives," Palace adds.