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UCSD Health Has Saved More Than $10 Million With a Virtual Telesitting Program

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   June 04, 2024

Gerard Phillips, the health system’s Senior Director of Nursing, explains in this week’s HealthLeaders podcast how UCSD Health is improving patient safety--and where they expect to use the technology next

UC San Diego Health has avoided more than $10 million in healthcare costs since adding remote video monitoring to its telesitting program in 2012.

In this week’s HealthLeaders podcast, Gerard Phillips, DNP, MBA, RN, the health system’s Senior Director of Nursing, says the bidirectional cameras placed in patient rooms enable specially trained video monitoring technicians to monitor patients and communicate with them around the clock.

The 24/7 monitoring program is designed for patients deemed at risk of falling, wandering, or causing harm to themselves by pulling out attached lines and tubes. The health system now has 30 cart-based cameras stationed across five healthcare sites, monitored by three technicians, who are trained CNAs, at a central video monitoring hub.

Phillips says the program not only has allowed UCSD to “maintain a higher level of safety [for] our patients,” but enabled the health system to use those savings to invest in other areas of the organization.

He also says UCSD envisions using remote video monitoring in a number of areas, including virtual nursing, staff safety and home-based care management. And they’re embedding AI technology into the cameras to help monitors spot visual cues of signs of concern with patients.

Listen to Phillips and learn how the health system is making the most out of its virtual telesiting program here.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

UCSD Health integrated remote video monitors into its telesitting program in 2012, and now has 30 cart-based cameras in five healthcare sites.

Over the past decade, the health system has seen more than $10 million saved in costs associated with falls and medical emergencies, and has used those savings to invest in other parts of the health system.

UCSD Health is now integrating AI technology into the platform to help monitors spot visual cues, and is looking into expanding the program into virtual nursing.


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