Results from a new case study with Finger Lakes Health has revealed another example of success found with Collette Health as the next generation of high-acuity virtual care, with drastic results since implementation of the virtual observation staff solution earlier this year.
Finger Lakes Health—a multi-institutional health system that includes Geneva General Hospital, where Collette Health is primarily used—also consists of 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.
Staffing Solutions Were Needed
Finding itself in the same predicament with nursing staff complications as countless other health systems across the country, Finger Lakes began seeing changes in staffing resources as well as the need for more nurses. The effects of shortages, rising healthcare costs, government regulations, and an aging generation combined with the pandemic itself have placed a huge weight on healthcare organizations. An alarming number of RNs left the field in 2021 due to burnout from physical and emotional fatigue resulting from the sharp increases in bed occupancy, ratios, acuity, and negative patient outcomes. It is projected that by 2027, more than 600,000 nurses may leave their profession.
As patient safety is the main priority at Finger Lakes Health, they found that a solution was needed to prevent overtired and burned-out staff. One-to-one care is crucial for adverse event prevention in both long-term and acute care settings. Every year, an estimated 700,000-1,000,000 patient falls occur in hospitals.2
Collette Health’s virtual observation solution serves as a liaison between healthcare staff and patients. The proactive design allows for continuous two-way audio and video monitoring of patients, and direct and instantaneous communication with nursing staff via voice or text with the press of a button. Patients who are observed as becoming restless or attempting to leave their beds by their virtual observer will be contacted and asked to wait for immediate assistance from their onsite nurse. This makes fall prevention safe and efficient for patients.
Finger Lakes chose to work with Collette Health primarily due to staff augmentation provided by Collette Health+ Staff. Collette Health virtual observers handle 100% of the virtual patient observation at Finger Lakes Health.
Case Study Outcomes
Falls have become the leading type of adverse event in healthcare organizations since 2019, and a 27% increase occurred in 2022. Of these, 70% resulted in severe harm to the patient.3 The Joint Commission reports that the cost of an onsite patient fall averages $1,500 for the hospital where the fall occurred. And a fall with injury costs an average of $14,000. Finger Lakes Health implemented Collette Health’s virtual observation services at the beginning February 2023. They have seen their fall rate numbers decrease immensely, as noted in their case study done in June 2023:
- The average reduction in falls since Collette Health’s installation was 32%.
- The fall reduction for the end of February 2023 compared to February 2022 was 58%.
The numbers confirm what staff with Finger Lakes Health has shared, that Collette Health’s system has improved the organization’s patient safety and personal (physical and emotional) security, while bettering staff communication, cost savings, and has streamlined their processes when it comes to patient observation. Collette Health’s cloud-native software is beneficial to lending uninterrupted service during updates. According to Finger Lakes CNO Ardelle Bigos, their staff is more than satisfied with Collette Health, as they have found the solution has been the best way to drastically reduce the risk of falls and provides a safer environment for patients while also easing t
“We were looking for a solution that would support patient safety without putting yet another task on our nursing team. Collette Health was the only virtual observation solution that provided staff support. The results speak for themselves. We could not be happier.”—Ardelle Bigos MSN, RN, CMSRN, NE-BC and Chief Nursing Officer at Geneva General Hospital
What Virtual Observers Say
Good Catches Made
Oftentimes patients may waken and feel disoriented, especially during the nighttime. Collette Health observers for Finger Lakes Health shared some instances where they were able to successfully assist patients in these situations and help them avoid a potential fall or other adverse event. These are known in healthcare as Good Catches:
- “Patient attempted to get off the bed. Verbal reorientation worked and patient went back to bed.”
- “Patient removed all of the bandage covering her IV and was trying to remove the IV. PSO (patient safety observer) called the nurse, and she came and let the patient know that she must leave the IV because it is for her medications.”
- “The patient tried to remove their clothes and the IV became entangled. PSO called the nurse immediately.”
- “Patient woke up really anxious and yelling. PSO talked to the patient and told her everything is fine and that we are taking care of her. Patient went back to sleep peacefully and safe.”
- “Patient was saying hello or [indicating] something was hurting. Asked with speaker translator in German to raise hand if needed nurse and she did it, so nurse was called.”
Patient And Clinician Satisfaction On The Rise
As nursing shortages continue due to post-pandemic economic recovery, staff burnout, market and employer changes, and our aging population, the need for staff supplementation will continue for healthcare facilities across the country. Collette Health offers a cost-effective solution that eases strain on nursing staffs and improves working conditions.
By partnering with Collette Health, Finger Lakes Health is one of 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 and clinician satisfaction. We know that ultimately a better clinician experience is better for patient satisfaction, as well.
2 Most Commonly Reviewed Sentinel Event Types -Joint Commission. https://www.jointcommission.org/-/media/tjc/documents/resources/patient-safety-topics/sentinel-event/most-frequently-reviewed-event-types-2020.pdf.