Fall Prevention and Injury Reduction Utilizing Virtual Sitters in Hospitalized Patients
continuous video monitor
Falls and fall-related injuries occur far too often in hospitals every year. The goal of the quality improvement (QI) project reported here was to reduce the number of falls and fall injuries in hospitalized patients using virtual sitters and continuous video monitoring (CVM) cost effectively. Run charts portray data trends for fall rates and fall related injury rates at the inpatient care facility in two-week increments over a six-month period. Descriptive statistics were collected to characterize the sample and setting, and differentiate components of the falls, falls with injuries and related costs. The literature review noted positive outcomes regarding both cost savings and reduction in fall rates with the launch of virtual sitters. The QI project with the implementation of CVM with virtual sitters depicted a 14% decline in fall rates and a 6% decrease in fall-related injury rates with a cost savings to the hospital. Plans for expansion of the program were underway with integration into the electronic health record. As modalities such as CVM with virtual sitters are adopted by more institutions, additional at-risk patients will be monitored for fall prevention and additional uses continue to prevail. Fall prevention and injury reduction remain at the forefront of quality care, keeping patients safe.