Monitoring At-Risk Patients Remotely to Keep Them Safe

Nurses use Epic to prevent falls and identify problems early

Some patients benefit from constant monitoring to help keep them safe, such as critical care patients or those at risk of falling. Most organizations, however, don’t have enough nurses to monitor each of these patients around the clock, and when nurses aren’t in the room, a patient might remove an IV or try to get out of bed, which can lead to dangerous falls.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center implemented a remote patient monitoring program in Epic to allow nurses to keep an eye on at-risk patients in between rounds. Patients who consent to the program stay in inpatient rooms equipped with video cameras and microphones. Nurses can monitor up to six patients at a time and speak to patients through microphones to help keep them safe. If patients at risk of falling start getting out of bed, for example, the nurse can ask if the patient needs help.

Patients in the program and their families felt more at ease knowing that a nurse was watching, and the monitoring program led to several patient care improvements. OSUWMC saw a reduction in falls, and nurses were able to identify and respond to several types of problems more quickly, such as swallowing issues, respiratory compromise, and seizures.

Epic community members can learn more from OSUWMC’s XGM 2017 presentation audio and slides.