Overcoming barriers to continuous patient monitoring
With healthcare costs increasing and budgets shrinking, hospital administrators are faced with the challenge of providing the best possible care while keeping their facility in the black. As a result, in an effort to stem the tide and maintain a high standard, new technologies are being brought into hospitals. However, despite the clinical and financial incentives these technologies offer, they are not always adopted with ease.
One such technology is continuous patient monitoring in non-Intensive Care Unit (ICU) settings, where the nurse-to-patient ratio makes constant monitoring by staff challenging. Continuous monitoring reduces workload on staff by providing constant real-time data with minimal false alerts as well as early detection of potential adverse events.
Below, we’ll examine some of the potential barriers medical facilities see in continuous monitoring solutions, and how modern devices are overcoming these hurdles.
In some hospitals, patient to caregiver ratios can be as high as 6 to 1. This means that when using traditional monitors in non-acute settings – intended for ICUs or operating rooms where the ratio is far lower – nurses are often responding to alarm after alarm, of which 85-99 percent typically do not require clinical intervention. This phenomenon, known as ‘alarm fatigue,’ puts patients at risk as staff become apathetic to the alarms, and adversely affects the work environment for healthcare providers.