Continuous monitoring with an early sense system on a medical-surgical unit is associated with a significant decrease in patients' total length of stay in the hospital, code blue events, and intensive care unit (ICU) stay time for patients who had an intra-hospital transfer from the medical-surgical unit, according to a new study.
The results were revealed by EarlySense, the Waltham, Mass.-based maker of patient monitoring sensors, and involved 7,643 patients. In the controlled study, conducted by researchers from Harvard University Medical School and published at The American Journal of Medicine, the researchers compared a 33-bed medical-surgical unit (intervention unit) to a sister control unit for a 9-month pre-implementation and a 9-month post implementation period.
Outcome results showed a decrease in the overall length of stay by 0.37 days, a reduction of 9 percent. The average stay in the ICU for patient transferred from the medical-surgical unit was significantly lower in the intervention unit post implementation by about two days, a 45 percent reduction. Furthermore, the rate of code blue events decreased by 86 percent. Current literature shows that in the 24 hours prior to ICU admission, as many as 80 percent of patients have had abnormal values for heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygenation.
"Early detection of patient deterioration in general care units should be a top priority for healthcare institutions," David Bates, M.D., director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, senior vice president for quality and safety, chief quality officer, Brigham & Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said in a statement. "Continuous monitoring is a key factor in recognizing and promptly responding to early warning signs which should help decrease patient morbidity and mortality, as well as length of hospital stay and costs. The study also showed the continuous monitoring used did not cause alarm fatigue, because of the analytics used by EarlySense which "weeds out" the false positives. We have also assessed the financial impact of the intervention."