Every year, hundreds of thousands of patients fall during their hospital stay—and 30 to 50% of them sustain injuries as a result, according to the Joint Commission. This can add more than six days to a patient’s hospital stay and can cost around $14,000 per fall. Truman Medical Centers knew that it needed to conduct remote patient monitoring more effectively if it wanted to prevent and reduce patient injury from falls.
To prioritize this important patient safety need, the medical center implemented a virtual observation solution that allows a trained observation technician to monitor multiple patient rooms from a central monitoring station—reducing sitter labor costs as well as preventing additional patient falls and other adverse events.
Preventing Patient Falls
To get started, the team knew developing a completely paperless workflow was critical—as was ensuring the paperless workflow was integrated with the EHR and mobile communication devices. Performance improvement strategies were key to ensuring successful adoption, workflow optimization and sustainable standards of quality.
The solution was assigned to high-risk fall patients and monitored by patient care technicians who were trained in communications protocol. Remote patient monitoring cameras were installed across two facilities, allowing one technician to view up to 14 live feeds of patients at a time.
As a result, Truman Medical Centers was able to keep 26,867 budgeted labor hours focused on clinical care rather than patient sitting. The organization’s patient falls rate decreased more than 34%, and the virtual observation system enabled 13,830 “good catches” or prevented falls since go-live. Many families have shared positive feedback about how they felt more at ease knowing there was another set of eyes watching over their loved ones.
HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence
The HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence recognizes the thoughtful application of health information and technology to substantially improve clinical care delivery, patient outcomes and population health. The Davies Awards program promotes HIMSS’s vision of better health through information and technology by recognizing and sharing use cases, model practices and lessons learned on how to effectively leverage information and technology to improve outcomes.
“From improving the safety of fall-risk patients with their virtual patient observer initiative, to significantly reducing readmissions for high complexity patients with their transitional care pharmacy program, Truman Medical Centers continues to identify opportunities to leverage information and technology to improve care outcomes for the underserved patients of the Kansas City metropolitan area,” said Jonathan French, CPHIMS, SHIMSS, senior director of quality and value-based care at HIMSS. “HIMSS is proud to congratulate Truman Medical Centers as one of the select few healthcare organizations to receive a second Davies Award for the thoughtful application of information and technology to improve patient outcomes.”
“At Truman Medical Centers, we have always viewed health information technology as a strategic asset in helping our staff provide the best care possible,” said Mitzi Cardenas, executive chief administrative officer. “Being one of only four health systems in the world to win the HIMSS Davies Enterprise Award twice is a testament to TMC’s commitment to ensuring our staff and students have the latest and greatest technology to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”
Truman Medical Centers will be recognized during the 2020 HIMSS Global Health Conference & Exhibition, which takes place March 9–13 in Orlando, Florida.