Case Study: Video Gaming Technology Reduces Mission Hospital Patient Falls

What do Mission Health and video games have in common? The answer may surprise you. With technology developed by the video gaming industry, Mission Health piloted a groundbreaking observation system designed to prevent costly patient falls.

Xbox marks the spot?

The Cerner Patient Observer – also known as the virtual sitter – allows hospital caregivers to watch vulnerable patients from a remote location, talk to them and call for help when they attempt to get out of bed and risk injury in a fall.

newsroom-cerner-patient-observerThe virtual sitter utilizes a new technology with a sensor found in Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system. With the virtual sitter, one technician can monitor six or more patient rooms from a single remote station. The technician uses the system’s 3-D cameras and software to create motion zones in the patient’s room. When motion is detected in one of these zones, the system alerts the technician, who can quickly intervene.

Traditional approaches to monitoring patients with a falls risk often include the use of a sitter stationed in the room with each patient. But sitter resources are limited and sitter costs can add up quickly.

Sharing the results via case study

According to a recent case study from NEJM Catalyst, authored by Mission Health’s Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO, Marc B. Westle, DO, FACP, Senior VP, Innovation, and Randy Burkert, BS, Manager, Center for Innovation, “By integrating a novel patient-observer technology into a redesigned clinical workflow, the neuroscience unit at Mission Hospital achieved zero unassisted inpatient falls and zero injuries during a 3-month pilot period in 2015.”

What’s next?

As reported in the NEJM Catalyst case study, Mission Health is “exploring opportunities to use the virtual sitter system in other units at the hospital and, subsequently, across all Mission Health hospitals, with an eye toward its becoming a standard component of all fall-prevention programs. Potential additional uses include patient elopement, virtual visits, nurse documentation through voice recognition, and others.”

Click here to read the full case study from NEJM Catalyst.


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