The Evolution of Telesitting in Healthcare


Nurses and other healthcare staff stress and staff shortages can both be significantly reduced via telesitting technology. Telesitting can do more to enhance therapeutic efficacy and patient experiences as it develops with the integration of new technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

To guarantee their safety and well-being, patients who pose a fall risk must be watched. Before, each patient had to have a companion in the room with them. The cost and difficulty of filling sitter responsibilities increased as the number of patients who need safety sits increased. This meant that patient care technicians (PCTs), who assist nurses on the floor, were being called into patient rooms to sit while nurses were left to conduct duties like providing ice chips to patients instead of exercising all of their licences. Burnout among clinicians was frequently the outcome, which can harm patients’ experiences.

The use of telesitting technology frees up nurses and patient care professionals by enabling sitters to simultaneously watch multiple patients. Two-way audio and one-way visual telesitting technology is the most widely used. Within a health system, watchers can keep an eye on things remotely or from a central place.

Many healthcare companies embraced telesitting as a cost- and operational-saving measure prior to the epidemic. Around 12 patients can be remotely monitored by a PCT at once. If necessary, they can speak with patients, use automatic responses in several languages, and sound an alarm if a patient needs assistance right away. No longer is it necessary for an organisation to hire a sitter for every patient room.

Resources for healthcare organisations, especially employees, became scarce as the pandemic spread. It was also necessary to protect current employees from exposure. Telesitting was first used by health IT teams not only to reduce expenses but also out of need. After implementation, nurses may once more concentrate on important clinical tasks and patient care because nursing support teams are back on the floor. For pillow speaker problems, they might undertake medication reconciliation instead of calling tech support. In addition to improving clinician wellbeing, having nurses practise at the very top of their licencing results in higher-quality patient care.

Patient outcomes are improved through telesitting programmes. Organizations that employ this technology can track quality parameters like the number of falls and falls that result in injuries within a facility in addition to saving money. However, healthcare professionals should pay attention for success stories. I recall a telesitting implementation from a while back in which one of our remote sitters, after closely observing a patient for a while, discovered that he was acting differently than usual. The patient was on the verge of crashing due to decompensation. The patient might have been rescued thanks to that observation, which is an immeasurable victory.

Considerations for Implementing Telesitting Technology

Telesitting technology goes beyond simply applying technology to a problem, and it shouldn’t. Organizations must create job descriptions for babysitters, evaluate the advantages of nurse- or doctor-led protocols for patient monitoring from a distance, and create policies for intervention, programme termination, and equipment recycling. Legal and privacy teams should be represented on implementation teams to verify that facility policies and consents cover the use of continuous audio and video surveillance. The most crucial requirement is that healthcare companies explicitly define the procedures for noncompliance, such as how many patient redirects are permitted before someone must go to a one-to-one safety sit.

From an IT standpoint, health IT teams must make sure their organisations’ networks can handle the bandwidth for streaming video of that magnitude before introducing the technology. Some businesses might not be able to start using telesitting until after a network upgrade is finished, or they might have to start small. Healthcare businesses can find out if their networks can support the inclusion of telesitting programmes by having their networks assessed by technology partners like CDW. Platforms for telesitting should also be able to connect directly to an organization’s electronic health record.

What’s Next for Telesitting Technology and Clinical Efficiency?

Telesitting will develop more in the years to come, despite the fact that it seemed revolutionary before the pandemic. Organizations have already begun integrating AI algorithms to detect patient movement and likelihood of getting up in video feeds. LIDAR technology can automatically scan rooms for patient barriers and is utilised to great effect in autonomous vehicles.

To advance patient care, this technology can be used in conjunction with Patient Room ‘Next’ techniques. Moving away from having several point solutions and toward platforms with applications in various use cases across the system is a component of that overall approach, which will maximise the investment. Examples of this include the clinical automation features of Artisight and the virtual nursing platform of Caregility.

Telesitting has proven to be a successful experiment in employing remote technologies to lessen the stress on clinicians. The transition to autonomous monitoring is extremely promising for healthcare’s future.

Next Post

Biocytogen strengthens its partnership with Merck

Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. has signed a worldwide license agreement with Merck for the use of Biocytogen’s RenMice TM platform. Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will have full access to Biocytogen’s RenMice TM platform for the discovery and development of fully human antibody therapies for an unlimited number […]