course, the true savings provided by a Solowatch system
can never be effectively calculated. It would be both
difficult and out of place for us to place a currency
value on benefits such as lives saved, problems avoided,
added convenience, and improved care. While these
benefits alone may be sufficient to justify investing in
our system, they do not address issues of cost and
A recent article in the New York Times technology section discussed some existing systems which are able to monitor groups of patients at a cost of $20,000 to $30,000 per bed. It stated that "Despite the cost, hospitals' needs for increased productivity have driven the market for these devices. Because more patients are being treated outside hospitals, those admitted tend to be sicker, requiring more intense procedures and thus more monitoring. Facing a chronic nursing shortage and being pressed to cut costs while maintaining quality care, hospitals look to computerized monitors to do more with fewer workers."
With the current state of the health-care industry, this comes as no surprise. Doctors and nurses typically spend as much time completing forms as working with patients, and home health-care workers can spend up to 70% of their time traveling and completing forms. Out of the nearly $800 billion spent each year on
|health-care, $175 billion
goes towards paperwork, and insurance industry pressures
continually increase this burden. Added to all this is
the escalating price of liability protection. A system
which could reduce records, liability, and labor costs by
only a few percent would save billions of dollars each
These costs place a burden on an already strained system, raising the price of medical treatment while lowering its quality. Because of the current shortage of trained personnel, many basic care tasks are never completed. When emergencies occur, the time it takes for overloaded staff to discover, diagnose, and treat the problems can far exceed what is safe. By easing the strain of patient monitoring and records maintenance, Solowatch frees up staff time, allowing nurses and aids to work as caretakers, not administrative assistants.
Solowatch provides real savings by reducing labor, paperwork, travel time, and liability exposure. In fact, a 10% savings in nursing labor alone would pay for our system, not even considering the other factors. The next few pages outline a sample savings estimate.
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