Robots to the Rescue

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Nurses at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, are keeping an eye on up to 12 patients in their rooms at one time. They can do that, thanks to the AvaSys TeleSitter, an interactive robot. This new technology is making life easier for patients and staff and saving the hospital a lot of money.

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 told Ivanhoe, “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 IV’s 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. There’s one more huge benefit: Seidl said in one month, the TeleSitter replaced more than 4,000 hours of nursing assistant work, saving the hospital almost $92,000.  

A cool new feature of the AvaSys TeleSitter is that it can speak in Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin and more. Also all units have infrared cameras for night vision. By the way, no nursing jobs were lost. The nurses were relocated to other departments where in person contact was needed.

Contributors to this news report include: Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.

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