Most providers are getting back to some semblance of normal business operations—albeit with lingering challenges such as staffing shortages and ongoing supply chain issues. As we look toward the future, we would be wise to evaluate some of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, lessons that can help drive a better healthcare system. Telehealth is one such opportunity. 

While most providers are back to seeing patients in person, many are realizing the value of keeping telehealth in some form or fashion in their organization. One way to do so is through the use of telesitters—or clinicians who can care for patients remotely. Use cases for remote patient monitoring include chronic disease management, post-discharge monitoring, ICU monitoring from a centralized location, and falls prevention, just to name a few.  

Telesitters can help mitigate staffing shortages by enabling clinicians to remotely monitor multiple patients from a single location on a single screen, helping to improve patient safety, reduce costs, and enhance the patient experience. 

VidyoHealth’s VirtualSitter: Success in action 

A large health system serving more than six million residents in a major U.S. metropolitan area needed a way to better utilize its clinicians to help prevent falls. They chose to partner with VidyoHealth for its VirtualSitter solution.  

VirtualSitter was designed specifically for hospitals and health systems that need high quality videoconferencing technology to connect clinicians with patients within an inpatient or outpatient setting. VirtualSitter enables a single clinician to monitor multiple patients at the same time from any location—all on the same monitor. 

For falls detection, VirtualSitter uses motion detection that senses when a patient is attempting to get out of bed. This alerts the clinician, who can quickly intervene and ask the patient to wait while a bedside nurse is called. This improves patient safety by getting them the help they need faster. 

Before implementation, the health system leveraged nursing leaders and bedside nurses to design a clinical process using VirtualSitter as the foundation for its new falls prevention program. They identified inclusion and exclusion criteria and integrated existing falls risk screening tools into the new initiative.  

Each patient entering one of the health system’s facilities receives a fall risk screening and, if they meet the criteria, are enrolled into the program and VirtualSitter is set up in the patient’s room. Once the patient is settled, a bedside nurse introduces them to the VirtualSitter clinician. The bedside nurse then walks the patient through the solution and explains how it will help keep them safe. 

In the seven years the health system has been using VirtualSitter, they haven’t had a single fall with injury at any of its acute care sites. 

The health system has been nationally recognized for its innovative telehealth program that leverages VirtualSitter technology to monitor patients at risk of falling.  

a Nurse looking at the screen to virtual telesit

VirtualSitter Features 

VirtualSuitter is a flexible solution that can be used with an organization’s existing devices such as tablets on a stand, smart TVs with a pan tilt zoom camera, telemedicine carts or any existing equipment already in use. VirtualSitter also integrates with the provider’s existing systems and workflows, which reduces the learning curve and facilitates faster implementation and onboarding. 

One of the best features of VirtualSitter is that it’s easy for both clinicians and patients to use, with simple single-click onscreen buttons. Clinicians can easily email or text invitations to the patient’s family members, providers, and other clinicians so they can join the conference. This helps enhance care collaboration, which can improve both outcomes and the patient’s experience.  

VirtualSitter enables clinicians to monitor up to 16 patients at the same time from a single screen. An administrator’s view provides key information about each patient that, when clicked, will show up full screen. Clinicians can use a second screen to keep all their other patients visible at the same time. VirtualSitter also provides clinicians with the ability to add notes to bring the next clinician coming on shift to quickly get up to speed on the patient’s condition.  


Leveraging the past to improve the future 

We would be remiss to return telehealth to its pre-pandemic status, especially with so much opportunity at hand. Leveraging telesitter solutions like VirtualSitter can help providers mitigate staffing challenges while reducing costs, improving outcomes, and enhancing the patient experience. The time to act is now. 

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