Long Island Jewish Medical Center experiments with video to protect patients, improve ORs

Physician errors during surgery account for nearly 400,000 deaths a year, according to the Journal of Patient Safety. But doctors at Long Island (N.Y) Jewish Medical Center are testing a new way to lessen the number of errors in the operating room: video monitoring.

All 24 operating rooms at LIJ have been wired with a remote video monitoring system created by Mount Kisko, N.Y.-based software company Arrowsight since 2013. Papers published in the BMJ Quality and Safety journal and the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal state that since installing the software, patient wait times at LIJ have decreased by approximately 15 percent and hand hygiene adherence increased from 10 percent to roughly 82 percent.

Chairman of anesthesia at Hempstead, N.Y.-based Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, LIJ and Manhasset, N.Y.-based Northshore University Hospital John DiCapua, MD, led a study on the video technology for LIJ. In an interview with Newsweek, Dr. DiCapua said within a matter of weeks, "the staff's ability to stick with safety guidelines rose from 24…to greater than 90 percent."

While video monitoring is often used in security and training initiatives, it is rarely used for patient care. Founder and CEO Adam Aronson said capturing nurse practioners and physicians on video makes them accountable for any issues that may arise while a patient is in the operating room.

Located in three remote locations, Arrowsight's staff periodically checks the videos once every two minutes according to a checklist to ensure the staff does not skip out on safety protocols. The data is then streamed to the operating room where medical teams and staff can view the information on their smartphones and on televisions in the hospital's surgery department.

To protect patient privacy, the video is recorded in low-resolution and deleted after 24 hours, preventing the footage from being used in malpractice lawsuits against the hospital.

According to the Newsweek report, the price to run and install the system is "negligible" compared to the potential cost of surgical mistakes. LIJ spent little more than $11,000 to set up the system. Arrowsight charges LIJ approximately $40 per day for audio and data collection for each operating room.

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