The implementation of telesitter video machines has successfully contributed to a reduction in patient falls and reducing the need for one-to-one staff ratios following an increase of these event during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purpose: A Magnet-designated community hospital within a greater hospital system increased resources for bedside staff, meeting the challenges to healthcare following the COVID-19 pandemic. To combat these challenges, this hospital implemented the telesitter video machines (TVM) to impact patient safety.
Relevance/significance: During and following the height of the pandemic, patient fall rates increased as the hospital was faced with several challenges including higher- acuity patients and staffing issues. The TVM is a 360-degree device that effectively communicates with patients needing additional support and were implemented to prevent patient falls and combat staffing challenges. The TMV contributed to both these challenges by providing one-to-one support for patients.
Strategy/implementation/methods: An interdisciplinary team, led by a nurse, collaborated with other hospitals within the healthcare system to adopt best practices tailored to this hospital’s specific qualities. This team started with broad, hospital-wide education and a call out for TVM champions at a division level. With a greater clinical team, they partnered with several hospital-wide groups such as the shared governance council, falls committee, and clinical informatics and technology sub-council. These partnerships help tailor future education and address gaps in awareness such as the development and easy access of the TVM dashboard.
Evaluation/outcomes/results: Since the successful implementation of TMV, 231 patients aged 70 to 79 have been monitored with over 11,000 observation hours logged. Of these patients, 6% were primary Spanish speaking, reporting no issues in their communication with the TMV. Since the implementation of TMV, the hospital’s fall rate has dropped from an average of 1.43 to 0.98, with zero of the 231 patients experiencing a fall while being monitored. Furthermore, pulling staff to provide one-to-one sitters for patients needing additional support has also dropped from an average of 1139 hours to 944 hours.
Conclusions/implications for practice: The TMV implementation has successful contributed to a reduction in patient falls and reducing the need for one-to-one staff ratios.
After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.