Why Every Hospital Should Invest in a Telesitting Solution
By The Altus Team
Published Mar 28, 2023
| 5 min read
Telesitting is an effective, ideal method of patient monitoring within hospitals. It enables hospitals to increase their quality of care while preserving resources. Keep reading to learn more about this innovative technology and how it can transform how hospitals deliver care.
How Telesitting Works
When a patient is admitted to a hospital, they require regular supervision, and some require more intensive care and monitoring than others. Sometimes, a clinician or caregiver must provide round-the-clock supervision for a patient. Reasons for needing this level of care can range from the patient being a fall risk, experiencing confusion, or being at risk of fleeing their room. In these scenarios, patient safety and hospital liability require that someone monitor the patient at all times.
Most hospitals don’t have the bandwidth or staff to dedicate a nurse to sitting with a single patient in their room for an entire shift. Telesitting has become a way to effectively monitor patients without a staff member physically present in the room.
Telesitting is a new class of clinical monitoring technology that monitors and tracks patient movement so that it can alert staff of concerns, suspicious activity, or emergencies. Telesitter cameras are set up in patient rooms, and a clinical technician monitors the live feeds of multiple patients at once. This approach allows for safe, effective, and efficient patient monitoring across hospitals.
The Benefits of Telesitting
Telesitting technology benefits hospitals, staff, and the patients receiving care. We’ve compiled a list of the top benefits of investing in a telesitting solution.
1. Scaling Patient Safety
A primary application of telesitting technology is monitoring patients who present as fall risks. These patients require vigilant monitoring to prevent falls, injury, and the many costs associated with these preventable accidents.
Adopting telesitter technology is a proven method of scaling patient safety within a hospital setting, specifically concerning patient falls. Oschner Health Systems reduced patient falls in their medical-surgical units by 51% by adopting effective telesitting solutions.
Oschner, and other similar hospital systems, monitor patients through in-room mobile cameras. When a patient requires monitoring, staff roll a camera in position, and a trained technician monitors the patient to reduce falls, self-harm injuries, and prevent patients from leaving their rooms without staff knowledge or authorization.
Telesitting helps hospitals scale patient safety, creating a better environment and outcomes for everyone involved in patient care.
2. Improving Hospital Efficiency
Inefficiency in hospitals can cost care organizations millions of dollars annually. One minor inefficiency leads to another, affecting staff, patients, and the hospital’s bottom line.
Telesitting directly influences hospital efficiency by allocating tasks once carried by multiple people to one centrally-located individual. One technician can accomplish what once required the time and energy of twelve individuals.
Telesitters in hospitals promote efficient workflows, delivering real-time monitoring and patient data that providers need to determine care plans and prescriptions. Telesitting frees staff to care for patients while the task of monitoring patients is handled remotely by an individual.
3. Improve Staffing Allocation
In cases where patients require constant or near-constant supervision, hospital staff functionally loses a team member for that shift. Nurse support staff, like patient care technicians, are often assigned to sit with patients. That leaves nurses to execute their responsibilities and those of the PCTs.
The need for patient sitters stresses caregivers and spreads your staff thin. But telesitting implementation improves staff allocations by consolidating patient observation responsibilities to one individual. Instead of sitting with patients, PCTs can support nurses and providers.
4. Reducing Staff Burnout
Provider, nursing, and staff burnout are pervasive in today’s healthcare landscape. Staffing shortages, increased workloads, and a lack of resources contribute to burnout in hospitals across the country.
And while many factors contribute to this burnout, hospitals can implement practices that reduce nurse fatigue and create sustainable workflows that increase staff retention. Telesitting can reduce staff burnout by reassigning care tasks and removing specific responsibilities from nurses and caregivers.
With a telesitter monitoring patients, hospital staff can devote their time and mental energy to executing other tasks, saving them stress down the road.
5. Increase and Improve Access to Care
Telesitters improve hospital performance and patient care within a hospital environment, but the technology is also useful for remote observation when the patient is discharged.
Recent research shows that 15% of patients discharged from the hospital are readmitted within 30 days. With the support provided through telesitting care, hospitals can reduce their readmissions and promote better patient outcomes.
Patients with access to telesitting technology and support benefit from immediate access to care without the obstacles posed by an in-person visit. Hospitals can increase access to care and mitigate preventable injury or issues in patients with remote telesitting technologies.
6. Cost Reduction
Implementing telesitting in your hospital can save millions of dollars in fall cost avoidance and sitter reduction savings. One study found that telesitting costs only 20% of the average cost of hiring a caregiver, which includes the technology, training, and labor required for effective telesitting.
A hospital’s resources are limited, so the need to safely and effectively streamline workflows where possible is of the highest priority. Telesitting helps optimize the hospital workforce and resources to reduce operating costs without compromising the quality of care provided.
Telesitting provides many benefits to patients and the hospitals wherein they receive care and treatment. Understanding telesitting technologies and their many applications empower hospitals and hospital systems to adopt this revolutionary tech that changes how we think about patient monitoring and care. Contact Altus to learn more about our telesitting options.