There are over 6,000 hospitals in the United States and close to a million staffed beds. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many hospitals to the brink. Patient monitoring systems allow physicians, nurses, and other staff members to more closely and remotely monitor their patients.
In a day and age where patients are outnumbering staff members, this piece of technology has been crucial. Finding solutions for patient monitoring mounting systems is critical to a hospital’s success. These technologically savvy devices are only beneficial if they are in areas that healthcare providers have easy access to.
If you have an interest in learning more about different mounts for patient monitors, then keep reading on.
Patient monitors have developed in recent years and now include remote patient monitoring. To better understand what type of mounting system you need, it is helpful in understanding the different types of monitoring systems out there.
Typical patient monitors include units that measure basic health values such as:
- Respiratory rate
- Heart rate
- Blood pressure
Sometimes, these units allow monitoring of end-tidal carbon dioxide (ETCO2). Ultimately, this gives a comprehensive look at how the patient is doing or responding to treatment. These touch-screen monitors can range in screen size from approximately 7 inches to 15 inches.
Additionally, full-sized patient monitors are more suitable for hospitals and medical facilities.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote and wearable patient technology has gained increased popularity during the past two years. These devices are non-invasive options that give practitioners a look at a patient’s health without further exposure. More of these devices are being approved by the FDA throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Glucose monitors are one of the most obvious examples of remote patient monitors. Some other examples of remote or wearable technology include:
- Cardiac monitors
- Weight measurement
Health care providers can have access to medication, pulse oximetry, heart rate, blood pressure, and more. Other popular brands and devices like FitBit and Apple are trending towards providing users with broader health monitoring.
Recent advances with Apple include monitoring HR, ECG, oxygen saturation, and respiration rate. Similar to telehealth trends, it is likely that you will only continue seeing a rise in remote monitoring.
A program spearheaded by the Mayo Clinic looked at how patient monitors are useful in the home environment for COVID-19 diagnoses. Patients who fit in their outlined criteria had at-home devices that monitored:
- Blood pressure
- Oxygen saturation levels
They were instructed in gathering these measurements at least two times a day. Each time one of the patients would use the device, the information was automatically relayed to the Mayo Clinic. If any of their vital signs were abnormal, it would alert clinicians who would then video call the patient.
From here, clinicians had the opportunity to have a telehealth visit and advise on further action. Patients who were self-isolating at home with COVID-19 reported positive results from this study.
Solutions for Mounting Patient Monitors
Wearable and at-home technology is a quick and easy way in checking for simple vital checks. However, in a hospital, it is more critical to have in-depth and consistent monitoring.
Additionally, having monitors that relay accurate and real-time information decreases the workload and stress of practitioners who have multiple patients. Patient monitors need placement in an area that is out of the way but easy to read.
There are a few different ways you can mount a patient monitor including:
- Rolling stand
- Side table
- Extendable arm
Rolling Stand Mount
Rolling stands are a quick and simple way for transporting monitors. They attach directly onto a platform that has a pole and wheels. A rolling stand can have a weight capacity of up to 25 pounds and rise up to 42 inches in height.
If you are taking patients out of the room, then this is a viable option for you. Additionally, these are some of the easiest mounts in medical facilities. They allow anyone to simply slide the monitor onto the stand, and it becomes detached with a quick-release function.
Rail Hook Mount
A rail hook mount has similar uses to a rolling stand. Again – if you are taking a patient out of the room, it is helpful to have your patient monitoring device on hand.
These are typically seen with patients who are transported to the operating room. The back or bottom of the monitor attaches to the bed railing and typically has some sort of securing mechanism.
The benefit of a rail hook mount is that the monitor follows the patient. However, it can be more cumbersome than a rolling stand mount and does not allow for simple detachment.
The easiest solution for mounting a patient monitor is placing it on a side table. The pros of going this route are that it typically sits right by the patient. This means there is less worry about dragging monitor lines across the room or bed.
It also cuts down on costs. If you want something more sophisticated, you can opt for customized tables that fit your patient monitoring devices.
The downside of placing a monitor on a side table is that it is not as aesthetically pleasing. It also creates more of a hazard if it is not fully secured. For instance, if a patient is hooked up to the monitor and tries to get out of bed, it can result in the monitor being tugged off the table.
The wall mount is one of the most popular decisions that hospitals and health care facilities make for patient monitoring devices. A wall mount puts the monitoring device away from tables and patient beds.
This clears up room for other uses within the room and is less of a hazard than putting it on a side table. Wall mounts are also ideal if you are dealing with larger monitors. These monitors can easily get in the way or become too bulky for side tables.
Wall mounts come with a variety of arm options. Some have fixed arms or others have the option for pulling out and swiveling.
Some of the reasons an adjustable arm handle is helpful for clinicians is that it improves ergonomics, eliminates issues of space, and helps build patient rapport. Physicians or nurses can easily pull the monitors closer to them and evaluate or input data on the spot.
In return, they can swivel the screen so that the patient is more involved in the care plan. If patient monitors are placed out of the way, it can be challenging for staff members to use them.
By choosing arm handles that lengthen, you eliminate ergonomic problems and user error.
Patient Monitor Studies
One study looked at common problems that physicians have when using patient monitors. They initially interviewed over 100 physicians about issues they had with monitors. Then, the researchers looked further at common and major themes within hospital monitoring systems.
What they found was that there were six main problems that physicians had. These issues include:
- Alarm settings
- Artifact problems
- Cable problems
- Human error
- Switching monitors
While some of these issues stem from the type of medical device that your facility chooses, others can be eliminated through proper mounting systems. For instance, cable problems and switching monitors are reduced when you have monitors with a flexible working space.
This might include using a wall mount or side table for ensuring that cables and wires are tucked away. Human error also occurs when data is improperly read. Proper mounting systems can easily reduce the strain and added time it takes for health care workers to input or read data.
The Future of Monitoring
Patient monitors still have a long way to go, but they are changing the way health care providers perceive patient care. Two patient diagnoses that are receiving attention for patient monitoring devices are obesity and cardiac conditions.
Additionally, many people who leave a health care facility require close monitoring. Implementing various patient monitors can facilitate a smoother transition home.
Physicians can receive feedback in the hospital and at home for a patient’s vitals. In return, this spurs an increased use of telehealth visits and follow-ups. People who live in rural areas will benefit greatly from these advances.
More importantly, this technology has helped patients who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19. Diagnoses that are suspected of placing patients at a higher risk of COVID-19 are hypertension, diabetes Type 2, cardiac issues, and obesity.
Remote patient monitoring allows physicians closer monitoring of glucose, weight, and cardiac measurements within the safety of someone’s home.
Moving Health Care Forward
Patient monitors are moving health care in a positive direction. These monitors are supplied for facility and at-home use.
There are several solutions for mounting a patient monitor in a health care facility, such as a wall mount, rolling stand, or side table. Finding the right solution for your facility can improve productivity rates, eliminate ergonomic complaints, and allow for easier patient monitoring.
If you have an interest in patient monitoring devices and mounting for your facility, then contact us today for more information.