When a pandemic spreads, no one is prepared.
Daily life changes instantly, thousands are hospitalized to treat a novel virus, and hospitals run out of personal protective equipment (PPE) that keeps staff and patients safe.
We’ve seen this happen worldwide during the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic.
COVID-19 has altered everyday operations for hospitals nationwide and one client in Connecticut is using a new method to fight the pandemic — remote patient monitoring technology.
Using Healthcare Technology to Fight COVID-19
This client started using NOVA (Nursing Observation and Virtual Assistant) in November 2019.
Now, the hospital is using NOVA in the fight against COVID-19.
NOVA reduces patient falls and reduces the reliance on expensive 1:1 patient sitters in their hospital. NOVA can be deployed as a mobile, fixed, or tamper-resistant solution integrated to meet the needs of any hospital.
NOVA 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.
Staff can monitor offline devices such as ventilators remotely with NOVA. This can decrease the number of times nurses must wear the necessary protective gear to enter an isolation patient's room.
How a Connecticut Hospital Reduces PPE Use with NOVA
Once cases and hospitalizations increased in Connecticut around March 2020, our client saw an opportunity to use NOVA to care for patients hospitalized due to COVID-19.
NOVA is virtual patient observation technology that allows staff to monitor patients in real-time. While NOVA is successful at reducing patient falls in hospitals, its newest use case is in the fight against COVID-19.
Anita C., a Nurse Manager at this hospital, said that NOVA has helped minimize the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), monitor patient health status, and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections throughout the hospital.
According to the CT Mirror, the state of Connecticut was waiting on a 90-day stockpile of $91 million worth of COVID-19 PPE to be distributed by the end of July. One benefit to using NOVA, Anita says, is that NOVA has curbed the need for using more PPE during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“NOVA helps the nursing staff to minimize PPE use because the NOVA technology was able to intervene and the staff did not to have to go into the room so frequently when a patient was climbing out of bed,” Anita C. said.
When asked about any logistical issues when using NOVA for treating confirmed cases of Coronavirus, Anita said there weren’t any, because the client turned their private patient rooms into semi-private patient rooms and placed one NOVA technology solution in the room to monitor two patients concurrently.
“Since we kept a lot of the doors shut in these rooms, it was certainly great to have an extra set of eyes on the patients,” Anita said.
Being able to monitor patients 24x7 gives peace of mind to nursing staff using NOVA, especially during a pandemic, says Ashley Kuruvilla, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, NOVA Business Development Manager.
“The benefits of using VPO technology in the fight against a pandemic are significant,” Kuruvilla said. “It can improve staff utilization, decrease staff exposure, decrease the spread of the infection, reduce patient and staff anxiety, and reserve PPE use thereby reducing cost.”
“NOVA helps front-line workers as they fight the pandemic more efficiently and safely,” said Kuruvilla.
NOVA Technology Prepares Hospitals for the Future
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how crucial it is for pandemic preparedness of healthcare facilities.
Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has warned of a second wave of coronavirus to occur in Fall 2020. Not only can NOVA be used to treat COVID-19 patients now — as demonstrated by our client — but for future contagions that may occur in the U.S.
Read More » How NOVA Prepares Your Hospital for the Future
Our client made the excellent investment in this innovative technology that has proved itself in multiple use cases, and formed a successful relationship with Wachter Healthcare Solutions.
“The team here has been extremely responsive, organized, and receptive to implementing NOVA in their facility and establishing that collaborative effort from the very start,” Kuruvilla said.
Another thing Anita learned by using NOVA during the COVID-19 pandemic is to “involve Environmental Services teams in your plan to use them in COVID-19 rooms so that everyone is on the same page about understanding cleaning procedures.”
And Anita's team is helping shape the future of NOVA, too. Kuruvilla has received feedback from employees that has helped Wachter Healthcare Solutions improve products and services. This feedback will enable us to help this client and other hospitals provide the best care for patients.
Because healthcare constantly evolves, technology that aids in patient care should be just as innovative. That’s why Wachter Healthcare Solutions continually strives to develop and improve NOVA to help solve the complex challenges hospitals face before, during, and after a pandemic.
About this Connecticut Hospital
Our client is a physician-led, professionally managed, and quality-driven multi-specialty practice with more than 30 offices in Connecticut, and comprises more than 150 physicians in 17 medical and surgical specialties and nearly 400 non-clinical staff, all committed to patient-centered care.