Virtual Sitter - CHI Health, Nebraska (NE) - Southwest Iowa (IA)

Everyone knows how devastating a fall can be. Patients in hospitals are at a higher risk for falls, due to medical conditions, procedures, medications and weakness.

Hospitals take many precautions to prevent falls, including: indicating fall risk on the patient's chart, placing a yellow wristband and booties on the patient, and placing a falling star sign outside the patient’s room. These strategies may or may not keep a patient from falling. Another safety precaution is to place a 1:1 sitter with the patient, but 1:1 sitters are an expensive fall prevention resource.

Video Monitoring

In the fall of 2015, CHI Health Immanuel Rehabilitation Institute partnered with Banyan Medical Systems to create an additional fall prevention protocol in the form of a virtual sitter.

A virtual sitter is a nurse that monitors patients by video to help prevent patient falls.

Cameras were installed in all 35 patient rooms rehabilitation unit allowing patients who are a high risk for falls to be monitored virtually.

Patients are placed on and off the camera based upon risk. The virtual sitter can easily view up to 12 patient rooms at once (it can be more) and intervene by:

  • Calling into the room to redirect the patient
  • Calling a staff member into the room if the patient needs help
  • Issuing an all-call emergency alert should the patient need emergent attention. 

Tracking and Coordination

The Banyan software includes a coordination tool that allows the patient care team or virtual sitter to track the patients on the system. The patient care team will enter in a synopsis of the patient and their needs and the virtual sitter can add in patient specific notes for the next shift such as a patient’s nickname or other helpful information.

All information is instantly updated and visible both on the floor and in the virtual sitter station. This information is displayed on one of the two monitors for the virtual sitter. The other to the monitor displays the patient rooms. 

Reduction in Falls

The 90 day pilot showed reductions in falls with and without injury and a reduction in sitter cost while at the same time significantly increasing the number of eyes on the patient to keep them safe. It also reduced the number of hours that a nurse was used to perform 1:1 sitter duty, making it a cost-effective tool.

Currently, this service is only available at Immanuel but CHI Health is exploring the opportunity to share this innovative way of keeping our patients safe in a cost effective manner for all CHI Health hospitals.

Virtual Sitter

Phone: (402) 572-3716