On-Demand Webinar: How Finger Lakes Uses Collette Health to Benefit Patients and Providers


As Collette Health expands its reach in the medical community, the need for patient monitoring solutions in healthcare facilities is becoming vital. One of our newest partners recently shared how our virtual patient observation system has changed how they view staffing to meet patient needs.

In June we were able to meet with Finger Lakes Health to learn about the company’s successes since beginning their partnership with Collette Health earlier this year. Finger Lakes Chief Nursing Officer Ardelle Bigos, MSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC led a webinar to detail what led to the need for better patient observation solutions, and how Collette Health drastically improved their staffing challenges.

Looking For A Better Care Solution

Finger Lakes Health is a multi-institutional health system that includes Geneva General Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital, 4 long-term care facilities, and 17 physician practices. They serve both acute and long-term care needs throughout the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Like so many healthcare organizations across the country, Finger Lakes Health began experiencing the effects of overused resources due to recent events, many sparked by the pandemic and its aftereffects. Employee shortages, soaring healthcare costs, government regulations, and staff burnout have been just a few of the obstacles they’ve faced, along with the nation’s baby boomer generation quickly advancing in years.

Especially troubling is the prospect of nursing staff being overworked—and even more so in high-risk patient care where adverse event deterrence and patient safety are the top priorities. An additional staffing component would be the answer to employing an extra layer of safety for patients and would reassure families that their loved ones would receive the best care. Patient safety is the number-one priority. And while one-to-one care is often crucial for high-risk patients, labor costs are at an all-time high.

Collette Health Resolves The Dilemma

After examining possible solutions with multiple companies, Finger Lakes discovered Collette Health’s virtual observation system. Bigos and administrators felt the company would allow the right amount of supplementation for their nursing staff, and could help onsite personnel better perform required tasks, while decreasing the risk of patient falls. Once the administration and nursing leadership team at Finger Lakes was presented with Collette Health’s virtual patient observation source that allows a virtual observer to monitor up to ten patients at once, they were overwhelmingly in favor of moving forward. The staff received full equipment, software, and process training on the new product. The information technology team at Finger Lakes trained and performed software testing to ensure successful software installation and ongoing use, and all relevant organization policies were updated.

After a collaborative effort by staff and Collette Health’s team, along with a streamlined implementation program, a flawless installment and launch was achieved. In February 2023, Finger Lakes Health instituted Collette Health as a complete staff supplementation for staff, patients, and their families.

How It Works

Collette Health’s design improves patient safety and security, staff communication, cost savings, and efficiency. The process places a liaison between staff and patients, which results in continuous observation and direct communication whenever it appears that a patient is becoming restless or uncomfortable or shows an interest in departing their bed. The observing clinician may speak to the patient via the persistent two-way audio system and ask them to wait for immediate assistance from the onsite nursing staff. Next, the observer instantly contacts the nurse on site, who calls on the patient in-person for support. Collette Health’s fully integrated communication allows observers to quickly contact the nurse’s on-person phone via voice or SMS text. Backup contacts—the charge nurse and house supervisor—are also available to ensure support if there are issues contacting the patient’s primary nurse in residence. Additionally, visual alerts occur on the nurse and patient monitors to show that contact is being made.

The cloud-native software guarantees uninterrupted service with its regular backend updates, while the enhanced monitoring includes remotely controlled in-room audio volume, camera position, and night vision. According to Bigos, Finger Lakes staff found that the system is reliably the best way to drastically reduce the risk of falls and provides a tremendous benefit of creating a safer environment for patients. She noted that Collette Health’s hardware and software systems were established and connected with minimal steps and that the staff was pleased with the speed and ease of the product’s setup and use.

Comfort And Security

Some patients are considered high-risk and therefore require additional attention from observers. Due to circumstances such as if a patient is diagnosed with COVID-19, for example, isolation may be required. Throughout the first half of this year, visitation hours at most facilities were still limited. These were instances when Collette Health’s virtual observation was especially valuable to both the Finger Lakes staff and patient family members, who may also communicate with observers.

Bigos said that Collette Health’s presence and having rooms continually monitored offers an additional piece of security for nurses and patients in that non-diagnosis-related adverse events are prevented. Notices are posted that patient rooms are monitored, which can discourage unhelpful acts either by the patient or other room occupants. Nothing can occur out of sight that may delay or deter a patient’s progress and well-being. Occasionally in healthcare settings, the number of visitors allowed in a facility may be exceeded, or too many young children may not be the safest visitors for patients. Having a set of clinical-minded eyes present helps to ensure patient care safety, while for visitors, often just knowing a room is monitored can curb unfavorable situations.

Overall Response

Collette Health’s virtual observation was well received by the nursing staff, patients, and their family members. Staff gave immensely positive feedback for not only the ease of setup, but the simple and intuitive patient onboarding. Handoff between nurses and virtual observers was seamless while their communication with clinicians, patients, and family was efficient and effective. Staff and patients were very happy with the friendliness of Collette Health’s team members who were always willing to talk to them as much or as little as they wanted, and always smiling. And whenever the patient wanted a sense of privacy, they could utilize the silence screen, which features a view of a tropical fish tank animation while two-way audio and one-way video on the observer’s end is still active. Families appreciated the safety and security Collette Health provides.

What’s Next for Finger Lakes Health

Bigos shared that the company plans to expand on their partnership with Collette Health in January 2024 by adding a minimum of 10 additional units. They are also looking into expanding the product to other departments including ER and virtual nursing.

As nursing shortages continue to loom, the need for staff supplementation will continue to rise in healthcare facilities across the country. Collette Health offers a cost-effective solution that also eases strain on current nursing staffs and organization budgetary limitations.

By partnering with Collette Health, Finger Lakes Health is on a growing list of healthcare systems that has discovered an efficient and cost-effective method for reducing strain on medical staff, the need for more recruitment, and most importantly—the number of injuries resulting from adverse events like falls. Since the implementation of Collette Health, staff has seen an increase in patient and family member satisfaction and comfort.

If you would like to learn more or are interested in installing Collette Health in your healthcare facility, visit our Contact Us page.