MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. -- Not enough doctors means hospitals are getting creative in how they care for patients, including taking a big brother approach.
Some hospital rooms in the NBC Charlotte viewing area now have cameras and a command center watching patient’s every move.
Qiana Gadson may look like she works in a call center. She sits with a wall of computers in front of her, but in fact she's a nurse who is keeping an eye on her patient.
“It is a little weird at first, a little adjustment for the nurses, especially the patients,” she says.
It’s weird because cameras are now watching some patient rooms.
“This is an additional layer of safety for the patient where 24/7 we can watch the patient,” says Colleen Hole, the Vice President in charge of critical care.
Not enough doctors for critical care patients is the reason for the cameras.
“Knowing the need for critical care services is increasing, certainly not going to have enough physicians so this really does safely leverage the resources we have,” said Hole.
Carolinas healthcare system is rolling out the Virtual Critical Care program this week in about 100 rooms.
The nurses will work with the nurses at the hospital.
“The cameras are so high def we can from our monitors assess pupils,” Gadson explains.
Patients or family members can even talk back.
“It does make them feel good that someone is watching their family member or that patient 24 hours,” she says.
The new technology is only in some hospitals. The rest of the program will roll out over the next few years.
Thus far costs have reached more than $12 million.