Patients can require 24-hour monitoring for many reasons. Individuals at risk of falling may need to have someone in the room with them at all times to make sure they remain safe.
In these cases, a possible solution is to engage a one-on-one, in-room patient care sitter. This person is a hospital employee who is trained to observe patient activity and limit anything that might cause harm. While this solution will certainly work toward keeping patients safe, it is costly to implement and maintain. It also ties up hospital human resources who could be performing other important activities. Healthcare providers require a more cost-effective alternative to individual patient observation.
A remote centralized monitoring system offers an alternate solution to individualized in-room patient sitting. Hospital patient video monitoring systems, integrated with a FHIR server, can provide the medical staff with a tool to remotely observe patients who would otherwise require an individual to be assigned to their room. The video cameras in patients’ rooms are equipped with two-way speaker systems so patients can communicate with caregivers and they, in turn, can speak with the patient from a central location. The live feed provided by the system enables the monitoring hospital staff to rapidly intervene when conditions demand they physically visit a room.
The fall rate experienced by hospital patients when patient video monitoring systems are employed is equivalent to the percentage when in-room sitters are engaged. Using a central monitoring system can reduce healthcare costs and allow facilities to make more effective use of their personnel.
Implementing a hospital monitoring system can take a considerable initial financial investment. The quality of the system can vary widely based on the type of equipment used and the grade of the data it provides.
Institutions considering adding centralized monitoring of the hospital’s patients have many choices available to them. Depending on their patient needs and the capabilities they desire, a system can be designed to satisfy their requirements. In addition to the capital costs of purchasing and installing the system, the more advanced solutions are software-based and require subscription or maintenance fees that add to the total cost of ownership.
Putting a large-scale system of cameras in hospital rooms can be very expensive and its cost may impede using the technology in some healthcare facilities.
FlexiHub offers the possibility to make use of existing resources to build a centralized system of remote patient monitoring. By sharing the webcams and using the computers that an organization has on hand, this software solution can help tie them together into a viable monitoring system.
USB over Network is a specialized software solution that enables USB data transmission to be redirected across a network. The application lets you use local web cameras to implement centralized remote monitoring. Using one workstation, a single healthcare professional can view live video from multiple webcams and simultaneously take care of several patients.
Communication and data transfer using FlexiHub is secured with 2048-bit SSL encryption. This keeps sensitive information in the hands of those who are authorized to use it. Data compression is also provided by FlexiHub to speed up the flow of information and reduce network bandwidth requirements. This feature can be very helpful when dealing with USB or serial devices which do not provide native data compression.
FlexiHub can use its own proxy server to direct the video traffic which eliminates the need of having public IP addresses for the monitoring computers.
Reducing the incidence of accidental falls in their facilities is a large challenge facing the healthcare industry. Between 700,000 and a million patients fall in the hospital every year in the United States. This is unacceptable and results in additional treatment and extended hospital stays for over 30 percent of the affected patients. Developing cost-effective methods to curb the number of patient falls has become a priority for healthcare providers.
The drive to curb the number of falls and additional injuries has led to healthcare organizations taking a new look at the tools and procedures they already have in place. They are looking to leverage technology to help address the related issues of increasing patient safety and satisfaction.
Many healthcare providers are using a hybrid approach that makes use of the caregiver population augmented by technology solutions. Using video monitoring in hospital rooms has proven to be a cost-effective way to make more productive use of staff resources while maintaining the level of care required by high-risk patients.
The biggest impediment to the initial widespread adoption of remote centralized monitoring was the resistance to change that often accompanies the introduction of new technologies. The concern communicated by the hospital staff was that the quality of care would be impacted by the reduction of one-to-one patient interaction.
The results of the centralized monitoring approach eliminated these concerns as the number of falls was reduced while improving the level of patient care. Without the need to physically monitor patients, the staff had more time to provide quality patient care. Using video technology left the staff feeling more comfortable with the high-risk patients under their care while improving safety and lessening the burden on overworked employees.