Orlando Health launches virtual sitting at 4 hospitals

Orlando (Fla.) Health has rolled out virtual sitting at four hospitals, joining a growing list of health systems that are turning to the telehealth platform to prevent falls and other injuries.

The remote sitters monitor high-risk patients 24/7, observing them for the potential of falling, leaving the room, confusion or delirium. The sitters chime in via two-way audio and guide patients when something is amiss and can also alert in-person nurses and other care team members.

"Maximizing this technology is vital to our strategy for enhancing the quality, safety and experience of care," said Kelly Edmondson, MSN, RN, vice president of nursing and patient care, in a Sept. 5 news release shared with Becker's. "We can focus our on-site sitters more heavily on higher-risk patients, such as those requiring restraints or who are at high or moderate risk of self-harm."

While several health systems have gone all in on virtual nursing — in which nurses remotely help with tasks like discharges, patient education and rounding — others have turned to virtual sitting, which monitors patients around the clock and can be performed by a variety of caregivers besides nurses. Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems plans to expand virtual sitting to 29 hospitals, while Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and Cincinnati-based Bon Secours Mercy Health have also embraced the care model.

Orlando Health launched 48 virtual-sitting camera carts at two Orlando hospitals — Dr. P. Phillips Hospital and Orlando Regional Medical Center — as well as Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Fla., and South Seminole Hospital in Longwood, Fla.

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