Early Detection of Patient Deterioration Using Novel Monitoring System
By Dr. Kevin White, Chief of the Spinal Chord Injury center and Nurse Educator, Ann Wilson at the James Haley VA Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
Patient safety for chronically ill Spinal Cord Injury patients in the hospital is an ongoing challenge. The SCI Center incorporated a novel technology system to detect early patient condition changes and reduce adverse events.
Here in our facility we are using the monitoring system called EarlySense, which is connected underneath the patient's mattress so nothing touches them. Within about a minute, it picks up their heart rate and their respiratory rate through measurement of vibrations. This provides continuous monitoring for the patient the entire time they are in bed.
When considering what type of monitoring is best for patients, the most important feature we look for are trends that show changes in their bio signs. Most of the time this is not a sudden change, but rather a gradual one, so this type of monitoring allows us to recognize changes much earlier and allows us to respond quicker.
A chief advantage to the patient using contact free monitoring is that since nothing touches the patient, they can go about their day or night without any inconvenience to them from wires and leads attached to their body. Patients are not hindered with movement as a result, which provides a much more comfortable experience for them overall. And because the device senses if the person is moving, it can alert staff if the patient is trying to get out of bed so they can help with fall prevention.
Another important advantage is that if a sudden change occurs in the patient's vital signs, including a medical emergency, the staff is aware of it right away and can respond far more quickly. We have noticed significant improvements in emergency response outcomes as a result since we have implemented this system.
Another advantage contact free monitoring has over traditional monitoring systems with leads is that, leads connected to the patient with tape tend to fall off or disconnect, which gives incorrect readings or even false alarms to the staff. This is never an issue with contact free monitoring.
We began using this system as a pilot program four years ago, and because of the significant improvements and advantages we've seen, contact free monitoring is now our standard practice. We have seen a fifty percent reduction in our MRT/code blue activation rates, and whenever there is an emergency situation the mortality rate has gone down eighty three percent. We've also found that mortality within two days of an MRT/code blue, mortality has gone down eighty three percent.
We've found enough benefit overall that we have moved all of our patients to the EarlySense monitoring system.
Source: Capital Publishing Inc
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