Levanger Hospital has functions in most fields with emergency rooms, maternity wards, pediatric wards, medical and surgical clinics and psychiatry. There are local hospitals for 100,000 inhabitants in the southern part of Nord-Trøndelag.
Big challenges with falls
A ward for the Medical Clinic with geriatric patients and stroke patients had major challenges with an increase in falls. In 2021, the department had 20 falls, and there was a great desire for change. A fall has major consequences, both financially and for the person who suffers an injury, and can be the start of a long-term course of illness and loss of functional ability.
A simple fall with a hip fracture costs an average of one million kroner, and requires a lot of health professional resources and training.
This is an important incentive to prevent falls, given the demographic changes that will take place towards 2035. A municipality in Midt-Trøndelag has mapped that there will be an increase in the elderly 80-89 years by 156 percent. This probably also applies on a national basis.
The hospital in Levanger started its way to a solution by orienting itself in the market around technology that was specially developed for falls, and found a good case from UNN Tromsø with RoomMate.
After receiving a clear cost picture and the collaboration with the purchasing department and the IT department, the department applied for project funds. They received a ROS analysis from UNN which they used as a background for the work, and also prepared a new one for Helse-Midt.
Privacy routines and consent competence
They also became well acquainted with what had to be put in place by privacy routines and privacy consequences. Paragraphs 4-6 a which apply to the specialist service were particularly important in this case.
They also entered into an early dialogue with the State Administrator regarding consent competence, and as of now there is no requirement to send a decision on consent competence for RoomMate. After all, this is not about “monitoring”, but tools that prevent injuries and something that the hospital has a duty to use according to the law.
The hospital in Levanger took several steps that ensured that the implementation of RoomMate was a success in November 2021, and the realization of gains.
The department has had several success criteria for the project
- It should be an internal desire for change
- Employees who see the benefit and managers who facilitate new ideas
- Unwavering faith in the project, which is contagious
- Look at what others have done, not necessarily find out everything yourself, in this case UNN paved the way for Levanger
- Have a collaboration with a municipality or institution. The hospital in Levanger has collaborated with the hospital in Ålesund all the way
- All employees should receive training and in this case they should know everything related to RoomMate. It creates ownership, commitment and change of routines
In connection with start-up and testing, they have failed to prepare a separate procedure, which means that you are bound by what is written. It secures ownership and makes the technology safe
Gains the hospital has experienced so far
- The hospital has saved money by having fewer employees at night
- Patients can be at peace and sleep better. Especially important for recovering from functional impairment or dementia. This can shorten the length of stay
- The night shifts who work alone experience less stress with notice on the phone
- Less active supervision
- Not had a fall in 3 months
- Increased patient safety
- Security for patient and relatives
- Better utilization of resources
- Creates calm for other tasks
- The focus on the danger of falling has become much greater after RoomMate, and it is considered immediately
Involvement is a key factor
The most important experience that the hospital has gained is the importance of involvement. The department heads involved all the employees at an early stage, and made sure that they learned all the functions. This led to both commitment to the project and the solution, and ensures that everyone can perform the tasks.
The department involves relatives before RoomMate is used, and assures them of both what the technology is about, and what new routines the hospital is now trying out to improve patient safety. Through good information about how it works in practice means that relatives gain confidence in the measure, which in turn can secure the patient.
Focus on quality and workflow
The department has not focused on finances, but on the quality of the service and changing the workflow. They have assessed and tried several measures, in addition to welfare technology, including cushions in recliners. Nevertheless, it is the change in work routines that RoomMate has created that has provided the most value to the department – for healthcare professionals, patients and relatives. Welfare technology does not destroy the clinical view – it will be an important measure in the growing age demographics.
More time for follow-up
– Perhaps the most important thing that RoomMate has contributed to is that patients who need sleep and rest can now get it without being disturbed by supervision. This makes the nursing staff at night feel that they have done a better job, says Ingrid Elisabeth Aukrust, project manager Future’s patient room and Professional Developer Geriatrics Health North Trøndelag. Ingrid also works at a medical ward at Levanger Hospital.
The technology has created more peace and flow, and has also given more time for follow-up of the sickest. Not having to experience patient injury in the event of a fall increases the job satisfaction of employees, says Ingrid. Ingrid also believes that it is more invasive and disturbing for the patient that someone sits and watches them all night, than a sensor.
– 3 months without a fall has also increased the professional pride of the nurses, we are now working with a higher professional focus on fall prevention, Ingrid concludes.