When hospitals and nursing homes are understaffed or busy, sometimes bed alarms are missed or forgotten. Nurses are looking for ways to reduce the risk of these types of occurrences and technology is helping them.
Cheryl Reinking, a chief nursing officer at El Camino Hospital in Silicon Valley, told the Independent: “As fast as we all run to those bed alarms, sometimes we can’t get there in time.”
Although El Camino has implemented call lights and other methods to prevent or at least reduce the amount of failed fall preventions, nurses are simply too overworked to keep up with everything sometimes. El Camino Hospital has a large number of elderly and high-risk patients making it hard to monitor everyone effectively.
Seeking to find a solution, four years ago El Camino looked for help from a healthcare technology start-up, Qventus. They worked together to find a solution to prevent falls. Qventus and El Camino Hospital had already worked together previously. The hospital had needed help to come up with an improved system of scheduling cesarean sections, and the technology company had offered a solution. When they realized they needed a better method for dealing with bed alarms and scheduling to reduce the number of falls in the hospital, they reached out to Qventus again.
Qventus thought of a program that extracted and analyzed data from previous alarms and patient records. They recorded ages, medications, and other vital patient information. The point of the research was to find out when patient injuries were more likely to occur in the hospital. From the data and research Qventus conducted they were able to identify predictive factors and thus determine which patients will need additional attention.
The implementation of this program includes special badges that the nurses wear. When a patient meets all the necessary indicators, an alert is sent to the badge reminding the nurse to check in on them.
Since the program’s implementation in 2014, the number of falls has dropped considerably. We are hoping to see more busy hospitals and nursing homes begin to incorporate this and other types of programs to reduce the number of falls and injuries that occur within their facilities.
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