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Clinical environments have to redefine what a patient interaction looks like, given an environmental emergency and limited supplies. Each time a patient presses a nurse call button, a clinical staff member must make contact and find out the need for the patient. In addition, every 15 minutes clinical staff is supposed to check on every patient to ensure proper health and care. 

Each time a clinical team member goes into a room they must utilize proper PPE (personal protective equipment). With COVID-19 or other similar infectious situations, PPE includes gloves, gown, eye protection and face masks. Unfortunately, this means that a single clinical team member doing rounds with 15 beds will go through 60 PPEs just on care checks in one hour.

The growing importance of healthcare tech

Leveraging technology, clinical teams are starting to enhance and modify their interaction with patients. Now with high fidelity monitoring of every patient, coupled with real time high quality audio interactions, clinical teams can observe and interact with patients continuously without having to utilize PPE. This will never replace all patient contacts, but even a reduction of one or two interactions per hour will yield thousands of sets of PPE that can be utilized for necessary in-person interactions.

As hospitals and urgent care providers are working to respond to the current healthcare situation, there are new considerations for how to utilize physical surveillance to increase our ability to do more with less. WWT has been working with healthcare providers to create 24/7 streaming surveillance on all patients to a single device video wall at the nurse's station.

Healthcare provider requirements are 24/7 video monitoring of patients, audio communication, easy set-up and quick deployment. Healthcare providers are seeing challenges related to limited resources, shortages of masks and gowns and other PPE items. The need to limit the number of true physical interactions with patients while still ensuring a quality of care and constant monitoring of that patient is critical.

Meraki Cameras implementation

We created a solution utilizing Meraki Cameras for a couple of reasons:

  1. Meraki is very quick and simple to setup, configure and deploy.
  2. Meraki Cameras are Wi-Fi enabled to reduce the amount of physical infrastructure deployment that is required.
  3. Meraki stores video footage on the camera itself and allows for the video stream to stay completely on the local area network when streaming the video onsite.
  4. Meraki cameras can be named in a flexible manner and be matched to the name of each room in use on the nurse to room call system already in place, and can also add the room extension number to the video display screen.
  5. Meraki allows for up to 16 video streams sent to a single viewing device video wall for one nurse to monitor multiple patients, while keeping all patient data separate and staying within HIPAA guidelines.
  6. All configuration can be done via the cloud, remotely and does not require on-site configuration.
  7. Meraki cameras have the option to stream via RTSP (real-time streaming protocol).
  8. Meraki cameras have the on-camera ability to create virtual rails around hospital beds and alert hospital staff to patients attempting to get out of their hospital beds.
  9. Mobile nurses can view video stream using tablets or phones.

After 24 hours, the below feedback was provided from the healthcare staff:

  • This will conserve PPE's by reducing number of times staff has to go into the room.
  • This will improve communication between patient and care team.
  • This will improve overall quality of care.
  • This will improve time management (plan shifts more efficiently instead of going into each room).
  • This will improve patient scores (HCAPS) since patients are asked if customer anticipated their needs and this is a great way of doing that.
  • They are very eager to move forward as they see many more patients coming in.

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