HOUSTON (August 19, 2014)

TIRR Memorial Hermann and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center are the first hospitals in Houston to use the AvaSys® TeleSitter Monitor System, mobile video monitoring technology that allows trained medical staff to both observe and talk with patients at a high risk of falling.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, almost one million inpatients suffer a fall in U.S. hospitals each year. At least 30 percent result in moderate to severe injury. Many falls occur when patients try to get out of bed, either to use the restroom or walk around independently. Fall injuries range from scrapes and bruises to broken bones or serious head injuries.

“Patient safety is a top priority at Memorial Hermann,” said Chief Quality Officer Angela Shippy, M.D. “This new system emphasizes our commitment to quality and safety for our patients, all while providing the highest possible care and using innovative technology to redirect patients before a fall occurs.”

The AvaSys® TeleSitter Monitor System is equipped with an infrared camera and two-way audio. Once a patient is assessed to be at high risk for falls, trained medical staff monitor the patient using a live video feed from a central location in the hospital. When patients demonstrate potentially unsafe behavior, Memorial Hermann staff can quickly intervene.

“This new technology does not replace any of the current safety measures we use; it simply enhances these efforts and is another tool we can use to care for our patients,” said Shippy. “The feedback we have already heard from patients and family members is very positive. Families feel more secure and at ease knowing someone is continuously looking after their loved ones when they are most vulnerable.”