Room with a view: Video Monitoring Units debut at UI Hospitals and Clinics

We need to carefully focus on all of our patients, but some need extra attention. Patients who have a higher risk of falling, have delirium, or other behaviors that endanger their medical care have traditionally been assigned a “sitter” to be physically present in the room with them. This is an effective system that prevents many falls and injuries. It also is very costly in staff time, and some patients and families are uncomfortable with a stranger in the room.

Video technology from AvaSure® has been shown to reduce staff sitter time while decreasing patient falls and injuries. Four units at UI Hospitals and Clinics (4RC, 6JC, 6RC, and RSCCU) will pilot this technology using new Video Monitoring Units (VMUs) starting Monday, Jan. 8.

The Video Monitoring System will allow more efficient monitoring of patients that meet inclusion criteria as outlined in Nursing policy N-02.176: Continuous Observation Utilizing Video Monitoring Unit (VMU) or Bedside Sitter, Adult Non-BHS Units. The VMU with two-way audio will be able to redirect patients that may be trying to get out of bed or pulling on medical devices. It can also be used to communicate with a patient’s nurse as needed to provide safe patient care.

Placed in a patient’s room, the VMU features a camera to monitor the patient day or night. While the camera is live, video is not being recorded—the system is for real-time direct observation only. Each VMU also has two-way audio for communication with the patient. An important privacy feature blocks video transmission during patient care, and an alarm system ensures immediate attention if a patient is in danger. The video from the VMUs is streamed live to where trained staff can monitor up to 12 patients at once.

Care teams that may benefit from using the Video Monitoring Unit can decide on a case-by-case basis which patients would be best served by the technology. Patients and families will receive information about the new system, and signs will be posted on doors and the VMU itself.

If you have any questions about the Video Monitoring System or the VMUs, please contact Mary Starks, Dale Winnike, Joe Greiner, or any members of the implementation team.

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