How Stamford Hospital Reduced Falls by 31% and Saved $261,000

During a global pandemic — while COVID and staffing shortages put a tremendous strain on hospitals worldwide, one facility implemented NOVA and saw immediate ROI:

  • Patient falls decreased by over 30% in the first two years following implementation
  • The hospital also saved over $260,000 on 1:1 sitter costs

Every year between 700,000 and 1,000,000 patients fall in the hospital.

If an injury occurs, that fall will cost, on average, over $14,000 — and increase the patient’s stay more than 6 days.

That adds up quickly — nationwide fatal inpatient falls cost hospitals $754 million, and total falls cost $50 billion.

And between COVID 19 and the nationwide staffing shortage, hospitals and their frontline workers are taxed with finding new ways to protect patients and prevent falls.

But smart healthcare technology can provide significant improvements while alleviating staffing issues and decreasing hospital costs.

One hospital implemented NOVA (Nursing Observation and Virtual Assistant), and saved hundreds of thousands of dollars and decreased fall rates by a third.

NOVA Reduces Patient Falls

Stamford Hospital, a community teaching hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, implemented NOVA in November of 2019.

Before NOVA, the unassisted fall rate per 1,000 patient days on units included in the program scope was 1.23 — already significantly lower than the average range of 3.3 – 11.5.

With NOVA, the 2019 unassisted fall rate per 1,000 days dropped to 1.2 and in 2021 fell to an all-time low of 0.85.

NOVA can be deployed as a mobile, fixed, or tamper-resistant solution integrated to meet the needs of any hospital. The solution uses HD cameras with pan, tilt, and zoom functions along with two-way audio and video communication and multi-language features. Trained technicians monitoring patients in their rooms can communicate directly with each patient or quickly notify nurses when aid is needed.

NOVA is Versatile

By reducing reliance on expensive 1:1 patient sitters, NOVA reduces cost as well.

Stamford Hospital saved $261,000 related to 1:1 sitter costs year over year.

“This use case speaks to the versatility of NOVA and how there are so many different ways that it can assist beyond fall prevention,” said Ashley Kuruvilla, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, NOVA Business Development Manager.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic and with isolated patients, NOVA has new, unique uses. Stamford Hospital’s main use case was for preventing falls, but they did kind of switch gears and have their nursing leadership use it as an innovative way to help with high-risk behavioral escalations and safety concerns.”

Kuruvilla notes some of the additional ways that NOVA can help hospitals. “Any department or any area where healthcare providers are struggling can be assisted by NOVA,” she said. “Nursing shortages, workflow efficiency, cutting down on supplies, going into the patient's room less often — all these problems are alleviated with remote monitoring Technology.”

NOVA Solves Problems Quickly

Kuruvilla added, “If you're able to reduce falls from 1.23 to 0.85 over one fiscal year, that's significant because normally one solution doesn't have that much of an impact over the course of one year. It usually takes any implementation a few years to be this effective — it's usually more of a long-term effect versus seeing that improvement in one fiscal year.”

Read More » How A Connecticut Hospital Uses NOVA to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

Overall, Stamford Hospital found that NOVA quickly had a positive financial and patient safety impact. It also supported staff satisfaction and safety. In the future, Stamford plans to continue innovating with the use of NOVA in behavioral health spaces.

About Stamford Hospital:

Stamford Hospital serves more than 40 locations in Connecticut, and is composed of more than 150 physicians in 17 medical and surgical specialties and nearly 400 non-clinical staff, all committed to patient-centered care.

The information for this case study came from an abstract by Anita Chacko, MSN, RN, who was selected to present on the abstract at the ANCC Magnet Conference in October, 2022.