When a hospital patient takes a fall, it can have a major impact on the physical and emotional health of the patient and cost the hospital tens of thousands of dollars. AvaSure LLC has developed a solution to help mitigate this problem, called the AvaSys® Telesitter system. The system allows a technician to remotely monitor multiple patients at once, and alert on-floor workers if a patient is at risk for a fall. This monitoring is enabled using an AvaSys® Mobile Unit (AMU), which is a movable tower with a camera on it that streams live video footage from the hospital room of an at-risk patient to a monitoring station. Figure 1 shows what an AMU looks like when setup in a patient room.
When a patient is at risk of falling, the technician can activate a “stat” alarm on the AMU to indicate that an on-floor nurse needs to step in. The alarm currently consists of a loud tone playing directly out of the AMU. However, this can turn out to be confusing for responding nurses, because there are times when adjacent rooms each have AMUs inside of them. When the audible stat alarm is activated, nurses can hear the alarm, but have trouble determining which room needs a response, and this leads to longer response times.
Our project was the design of a remote stat alarm (RSA) indicator that will be placed in the hallway outside of each hospital room that has a monitoring unit. The device uses two ultra-bright LEDs to quickly indicate to a nurse which room has the patient that needs intervention. This alarm device has potential to cut down on the time between the alarm activation and the physical intervention, potentially increasing the chance of successful fall prevention.