Patient Safety Study Indicates Nihon Kohden Defensive Monitoring System Can Reduce Unplanned ICU Transfers by 85%

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A recently completed 1,270 patient, two-year study offers dramatic implications for hospitals seeking to improve quality of care and avoid millions in costs that accompany unplanned transfers of patients to ICU and other stepdown transfers.

The study, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense, took place at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from March 2008 to March 2010. VUMC staff recruited 1,270 patients from a total floor population of 13,000 and provided continuous surveillance to the recruited patients with Nihon Kohden’s Defensive Monitoring system. The study took place on hospital floors where patients are not continuously monitored, but rather monitored, following a set standard of care, every four hours by nurses manually taking the patients’ vital signs.

The recruited patients were divided into a control group and an “alert notification” group. Both groups received Nihon Kohden’s NTX wireless telemetry transmitters that sent continuous vital sign information to the Defensive Monitoring Work Station. Researchers received threshold-based alerts on their pagers when a patient in the alert notification group exhibited vital signs that were outside of predetermined limits. Researchers then notified the appropriate nursing staff, who checked the patient and determined if a Rapid Response Team should be notified.

While on study, the patient rate of unplanned transfers from the floor directly to an ICU unit was 85% lower than the non-study patients. The unplanned stepdown transfer rate dropped 69%.

The unplanned transfers that occurred in the study resulted in an admission length of stay that was two to four times the length of non-transfer patients. Had all patients on the study floors been placed on the study, an estimated $10 million in hospital costs could have been avoided.

The Nihon Kohden system that was used in this study can cost as little as $10 per day per patient and, based on the statistics of the study, it creates the potential for hospitals to save as much as $1,865 per patient.

“With the passage of the new healthcare reform legislation, it becomes critical that hospitals improve quality for all patients, creating a safer environment and driving down costs,” said Mike Dashefsky, Vice President Patient Monitoring Group. “The study reaffirms that the Nihon Kohden Defensive Monitoring system achieves this goal, and we are extremely proud of the results.”

“The concept of ‘defensive monitoring’ promises to improve the care of postsurgical patients and to reduce the most common morbidities in this population,” said Dr. James Berry, “As well, continuous monitoring will likely show benefit in every hospital inpatient by providing real-time notification of critical changes in patient status.”

The white paper can be downloaded here.

About Nihon Kohden America, Patient Monitoring Division

Nihon Kohden America was founded in 1979 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Nihon Kohden Corporation, Japan (founded in 1951). Nihon Kohden is a market leader in Patient Monitoring, Sleep Assessment, Neurology and Cardiology instrumentation. Our products are distributed to hospitals, physician’s practices, mobile services, and outpatient and surgery centers throughout North America. Our Patient Monitoring solutions span across the continuum of care and include products for bedside, transport, central stations, telemetry and Defensive Monitoring™. Nihon Kohden’s innovative technology has been recognized by Frost & Sullivan with their 2008 North American Hospital Wireless Patient Monitoring Product Innovation Award. More information about Nihon Kohden can be found at


Nihon Kohden America, Inc.
Sue Giansiracusa, (800) 325-0283
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Health  Hospitals  Medical Devices  General Health