Robots to the Rescue

Local News
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Nurses at a California hospital are keeping an eye on up to 12 patients in their rooms at one time. They can do that, thanks an interactive robot.

This is the fifth time Chuck McGibbon is in St. Joseph Hospital since his stroke two years ago. His wife, Fran, has always stayed in his room with him because he gets confused and tries to get out of bed. The AvaSys TeleSitter changed all that.

Fran said, “Knowing that the camera was on him and somebody was observing him, I went home and had a peaceful night’s sleep. I slept from seven to four in the morning for the first time ever.”

The camera feeds video into the “cockpit,” where one technician watches over 12 rooms at once. This relieves pressure on nursing aides who used to have to monitor patients in person.

Gemma Seidl, RN, MSN, MPH, PHN, Executive Director of Critical Care/Medical Surgical Services at St. Joseph Hospital, Orange said, “It also provides a sense of security for our patients and for our family members, and they know that when they go home, they know that somebody’s
watching their loved ones 24-7.”

The TeleSitter is assigned to patients who are confused, have dementia, or alcohol withdrawal.

“Any type of patients, when they come in, that we know that they’re high risk for falls already, and if they have fallen at home or have a history of falls,” explained  Seidl.

If the tech sees a patient trying to get up or pull IVs out, he or she can talk to the patient directly through the monitor or send a message to the nurse. The tech can also sound a siren, to get help to a patient immediately if needed. 

Seidl said in one month, the TeleSitter replaced more than 4,000 hours of nursing assistant work, saving the hospital almost $92,000.  But she added that no nursing jobs were lost. The nurses were relocated to other departments where in person contact was needed.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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