Special report: Continuous monitoring has continuous benefits

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | May 21, 2014
From the May 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


Contact-free monitoring is a sensor that goes underneath the patient’s mattress and has multiple levels of sensitivity. If the patient just got out of the operating room, the nurse would set it to the highest sensitivity, but if the nurse just wants to know when the patient is shifting around in bed, they would set it to a normal sensitivity level.

“Because it can sense patients moving around, it can give nurses that heads up that they really need,” says Perkins.

ViSi does not currently have this capability, but Sotera says that it is something they plan on offering in the future.

Lifting the burden
So the hospital saves money and the patient has better outcomes, but what about the nurse? On medical surgical floors, nurses can be in charge of up to eight patients at the same time.

“For you to keep track of all those patients and do all the paperwork you have to do and get ready to deliver meds and talk to physicians and talk to family members, it’s a really, really tough job on a med-surg floor,” says Perkins.

Having the continuous vital measurements in the hallways or in the palm of their hand can make a huge difference for nurses. “It benefits the clinician because they know the current status of their patients all the time and have the comfort of knowing that they’ll get timely information, they can respond quicker and without burdening the patient to get more information,” says Sotera’s Manning.

It also allows them to spend more time focusing on the actual information than on acquiring the information, he says.

Perkins says that he has received a lot of positive feedback from the nurses that use Connex CSS. “What we’ve heard is that it lets nurses do more of what they need to be doing — it’s usually what they call they’re critical nursing skills — where they’re looking at the data and trying to decide what it is, rather than just reacting to things, which they often have to do now,” he says.

Continuously monitoring patient in low-acuity areas has been shown to bring benefits to hospitals, patients and nurses but whether it will become a standard of practice in the future remains unknown.

Since the interest in the marketplace intensified about a year ago, ECRI said they will need to continue to monitor the technological development from the manufacturing side and the interest in hospitals to adopt the technology.

“This is definitely still a learning process for our side and the hospital side,” says ECRI’s Wong.

Click here to check out the DOTmed Virtual Trade Show for patient monitors.

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