By Adriana Krasniansky
In many medical circumstances, clinicians and caregivers may choose not to leave a patient alone. For example, a patient may present a fall risk, experience confusion and agitation, or be at risk of self-harm. Traditionally, in such situations, a hospital assigns the patient a sitter, or a caregiver who provides patients patient supervision and companionship.
The need for sitters in hospital settings is rising, as patient loads increase and fewer patients have family members who are able to stay with them for long periods of time. Sitters are also a considerable investment for hospitals; one community hospital reported employing 14 sitters a day, totaling $425,000 in costs annually. Many healthcare networks are exploring the possibility of TeleSitters, or virtual monitoring systems to support patient care. In this article, we review the national adoption of TeleSitters and point out benefits and considerations to their implementation. Read More