Home Remote cameras to provide 24/7 observation of at-risk patients at Sentara hospitals

Remote cameras to provide 24/7 observation of at-risk patients at Sentara hospitals

Rebecca Barnabi

Cameras on wheels will be deployed in Sentara Healthcare’s 12 hospitals and provide 24-hour monitoring of at-risk patients.

Ten remote patient monitoring systems are already deployed at Sentara RMH Medical Center, and a total of 108 will be deployed. Assignment of cameras will be based on nurse assessment of a patient’s risk of falling, care team notes and the patient’s ability to follow verbal cues. All cameras are monitored from a Sentara facility in Williamsburg.

“It helps us monitor patients who we may not be able to round on more than every single hour, which is our expectation,” Jill Delawder, director of Patient Care Services at Sentara RMH Medical Center, said. “We have these trained personnel monitoring our patients and can alert us if we need to go in and see the patients more frequently.”

Patients’ physical conditions are remotely monitored from high-resolution cameras. A staff of trained monitor technicians will watch the cameras 24/7, observe real-time interactions between patients, family and hospital staff, and be aware of signs of choking, difficulty breathing, pain or other issues that need immediate intervention. For patient privacy, the cameras will not record activity, only observe.

“It’s assistance to our current staff, but it’s also a huge patient safety initiative. Helping prevent a patient from falling, breaking bones, and avoiding additional complications while in the hospital is our main priority,” Delawder said. “Our hope is we can utilize it on additional types of patients. We would like to start off small, focus on our patients who are at risk for falls, and then use it for additional types of patients, such as patients who may be confused at bedtime, or are just lonely in the hospital. The possibilities are endless.”

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.