A highly successful study carried out in California demonstrated the benefits of the SensiumVitals® system. The results are presented in a white paper: "Towards the improvement of patients’ safety with continuous wireless monitoring: Pilot at Saint John’s Health Center".
Between October 2012 and March 2013, a six month pilot was undertaken at Saint John’s Health Center in Los Angeles. During this period, 270 general ward patients were monitored, of whom the first 168 were included in the White Paper publication.
The key findings of the study were that both the clinical and economic cases for the SensiumVitals® system on general, medical / surgery wards were clearly demonstrated.
“There is strong, unambiguous evidence that SensiumVitals® System is cost effective" Dr S. Eapen, Analysis Group Inc, Boston
From a clinical perspective, the key benefit was the early detection of deterioration in the condition of a significant number (12%) of patients. This allowed earlier intervention and, for those affected, greatly improved patient outcomes than would have been expected under normal monitoring protocols.
From an economic perspective, these early interventions led to shorter hospital stays (on average, these patients’ hospital stays were six days shorter than they would have been without using SensiumVitals®) and the avoidance of more expensive acute treatments. The average cost saving for each of these patients was $5,500. On an annualised basis, the saving for the pilot ward was over $200,000 – against an annual cost of $20,000.
Case Study 1
A 28-year-old man was admitted to Saint John’s on 30 October 2012 with complaints of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. The patient had a medical history of shoulder melanoma with excision around four years ago, otherwise the patient appeared healthy. The patient was given a SensiumVitals® wireless patch at 10am on the day of admission. At 11.13pm, the patient showed signs of tachycardia which increased throughout the night from 95 beats per minute (bpm) up to 127 bpm at 2.18am on 31 October 2012. The alerts emitted by the SensiumVitals® patch warranted a call to the rapid response team. Thereby, the patient was transferred to the intensive care unit, and then underwent surgery with a resultant diagnosis of perforated proximal stomach.
Case Study 2
An 87-year-old man with a history of metastatic cancer and recently treated with chemotherapy was admitted to the general ward at Saint John’s on 11 October 2012. The patient was diagnosed with hypotension and multifocal pneumonia at the time of admission. The following morning, the SensiumVitals® wireless patch was applied to the patient, which reported a low temperature of 94.1 °F at 9.59am. Later in the afternoon (at 1.43pm) the SensiumVitals® patch reported that the temperature had increased to 100.0 °F. During immediate observation it was noticed that the patient was shivering, and consequently the RN was notified. At 2.07pm the SensiumVitals® patch alerted that his temperature had further increased to 101.3 °F. At that point, the patient was given Tylenol and intravenous antibiotics. Around 4pm, it was observed that temperature readings were back to normal.
Case Study 3
A 97-year-old woman was admitted to Saint John’s on 9 November 2012 with failure to thrive, dehydration, loss of appetite, urinary tract infection and hypernatremia. The wireless patch was applied to this patient the same day at 9am. At 3.24pm a high HR (169 bpm) alert was generated and then confirmed manually (i.e. by taking the pulse) at 3.25pm. The patch also alerted on high respiration rates of up to 29 brpm. Consequently, the doctor in charge was notified and an electrocardiogram (EKG) was ordered. At 4.07pm the MD notified that the EKG results revealed atrial fibrillation with rapid ventricular response. Consequently, the patient received treatment (Digoxin) and was scheduled for manual check of vital signs every eight hours. Three days after, at 8.58am, the patient generated another alert, but this time for low HR (42 bpm). Her doctor was notified and the Digoxin was discontinued. The patient was referred to Cardiology Consultation.