How AI Helps Address Challenges in Healthcare
The healthcare sector is currently facing multiple challenges: increased patient and visitor aggression, a shortage of qualified clinical staff and increasing cost pressures. How can healthcare facilities address these challenges?
Hospitals are experiencing a wave of aggression towards healthcare staff, especially in behavioral and emergency areas. Aggression can range from verbal abuse through gang violence entering healthcare facilities to physical violence and the use of weapons against staff. This impacts the reputation of the hospital and staff. When staff feel unsafe, the pressure of an already demanding job increases further, and they may look for a safer and less stressful work environment. The solution to aggression is empowering the security team through situational awareness so that they can be where they are needed.
Hospital turnover in 2021 has increased by 6.4%. Staff turnover is linked with burnout, with 70% of nurses reporting burnout in their current roles. One aspect of burnout is pressure from the aggression of patients, which is an increasing issue.
Staff turnover costs are well documented. The 2022 National Retention & RN Staff Report identifies that it takes an average of 87 days (or even more for a specialized position) and costs around $82,000 to fill a staff nursing position. On top of these costs, there is the cost of onboarding and training a new person and additional overtime worked by other staff while new staff are being found. In this way, staff turnover becomes a self-perpetuating issue, with turnover increasing pressure on remaining staff and thus further increasing turnover.
Cost pressures are a result of inflation, which affects the cost of medications and supplies and increases wage pressure. At the same time, reimbursement amounts have remained fixed. Hospitals are looking for savings, and these include laying off administrative staff and reducing other costs, such as security. Doing this without organizational changes can impact the standard of service provided to patients, further increasing frustrations of the public that may be taken out on the remaining staff.
How Scylla AI can help address these issues
The challenge is to save money and adapt to the changing environment by embracing innovation and change. This means using current data sources more effectively by extracting management insights. Scylla’s AI-based video analytics technology is a game changer, both for security and operational improvement.
By leveraging existing surveillance cameras, Scylla can help identify patient aggression, allowing staff to defuse violent situations. Scylla can find missing patients and detect visible weapons. It provides coverage for the entire facility, including car parks, increasing productivity. Drones can reduce labor requirements for patrols by covering large areas.
Scylla also supports safety in the hospital, with identification of slip and fall incidents. Slips and falls are a large problem, with between 700,000 and 1 million incidents per annum across the country.
Scylla also provides important management data from traffic flow analysis that can be used to optimize many aspects of hospital operations. This provides statistics, heat maps and pathway analysis as people move through the facility. This also supports dwell time analysis and people counting, which can help with the analysis of queuing.
The challenges faced by the industry will be addressed by leading hospitals by innovating, not by simply cutting costs. AI allows hospitals to obtain insights from data that was previously siloed by the security department. Scylla is an innovator in AI and computer vision and has developed the Healthcare Security Suite to help healthcare facilities protect staff and patients, the reputation of the hospital, improve efficiency and cut costs.
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