Study: Bedside sensor reduces length of stay in hospital and ICU

A sensor placed under a hospital bed that continuously monitors a patient’s heart, respiratory rate and movement was shown to significantly reduce patients’ total length of stay in a hospital and intensive care unit (ICU).

Harvard University Medical School researchers conducted a controlled 7,643 patient outcome study of EarlySense’s monitoring system, in which they compared a 33-bed medical-surgical unit (intervention unit) to a sister control unit for a 9-month pre-implementation and a 9-month post implementation period.

Results of the study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, concluded that continuous monitoring with EarlySense was associated with a decrease in patients’ total length of stay in the hospital, code blue events and ICU stay time for patients who had an intra-hospital transfer from the medical-surgical unit. Specifically, the study found the following:

  • A decrease in the overall length of stay by 0.37 days, a reduction of 9 percent, in the intervention unit.
  • The average stay in the ICU for patients transferred from the medical-surgical unit was significantly lowered in the intervention unit post implementation by about two days, a 45 percent reduction.
  • The rate of code blue events decreased by 86 percent.
  • The system did not cause alarm fatigue because the analytics used by EarlySense removed false positives.

“Continuous monitoring is a key factor in recognizing and promptly responding to early warning signs which should help decrease patient morbidity and mortality, as well as length of hospital stay and costs,” said David Bates, MD, director of the Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, senior vice president for quality and safety, chief quality officer, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.