surveillanceFinding the right care for senior family members can be an overwhelming process. Often, you feel like you’d be better equipped to make these decisions if you worked in the medical industry. But as you look for the best care, you’ll realize that mistakes are often made in the health care field, just like in any other profession.

Patient care has seen countless advancements over the years thanks to technology, but there is still plenty of room for improvement and more positive outcomes. In New York state hospitals alone, nearly four percent of patients experienced an avoidable adverse event during their treatment for an injury, some of which even resulted in death, according to a study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality.

One thing that can help boost the overall quality of health care, and more specifically to you the quality of care that your loved one receives, is surveillance. Here are several reasons surveillance cameras are something that you should be asking about when looking for care for your elderly loved ones:

Adopt Better Habits, Faster

When people know they are being recorded for a specific purpose, it is human nature to want to want to be viewed in a positive light. While many people have trouble adapting to new rules and regulations, this principle can be used to speed up the process. This makes surveillance an effective tactic to help employees adopt a new policy that a health care facility is enforcing.

For instance, hand washing has long been known to help prevent the spread of germs. However, in many hospitals around the country, hand washing rates by health care professionals were still low, as staff were slow to adopt the policy to wash their hands before interacting with a new patient. At North Shore University Hospital in New York, less than 10 percent of staff was following the hand-hygiene regulation. To combat this, the hospital began filming hand washing (or lack thereof) with surveillance cameras and publicly tallying the progress so staff could see their results. As a result of this new tactic, hand-washing rates rose to 88 percent.

This example proves the effectiveness of knowing that someone is watching over your shoulder, making sure that you are following the rules. While it can be costly to have a team reviewing all of the recorded footage and reporting feedback, this part of the process is only necessary during the time required to create the new habit. Once the habit becomes second nature, you can slowly cut back surveillance monitoring and reporting and often eliminate it altogether.

Find More Effective Strategies Through Peer Review

If outcomes for the same procedure are found to vary widely by physician, recording the procedures can be an effective way to identify what the issues are. Colonoscopies were found to vary widely by practitioners at an Indiana University hospital, so a blind study was conducted over several months, according to a paper on the topic published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. All colonoscopies were filmed without the doctors knowing, and then the procedures were reviewed to identify the improvements that were necessary. One key finding was that the majority of the procedures were rushed and didn’t allow enough time for thorough inspection. After the doctors were notified that their procedures were being monitored, inspection time during colonoscopy rose by 49 percent and the overall quality of mucosal inspection increased by 31 percent.

Harnessing the Power of Recording at Home

If a home health setting is preferable, you can still make use of the benefits of camera surveillance to ensure your loved one is getting the best possible care. Install a home security camera system in your elderly loved one’s home so you can check in on things at any time from anywhere. You can get affordable and easy-to-install security camera systems from Lorex Technology. You can even access footage from a smartphone for optimal convenience. Disclose to the home health care providers that you’ll be checking in on things remotely.

Surveillance through effective methods can really benefit patient care.

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