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  • Matt Morris

Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas use VisibleHand to improve Q15 safety checks and patient safety

The Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ) shares a case study written by Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas (BHSET) regarding their use of VisibleHand to improve patient safety & Q15 safety check compliance in their inpatient psych hospital.

Download the PDF here, or read below.

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Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas Behavioral Health Center

Innovative New Tool for Q15 Safety Checks

VisibleHand Software


Safety of our patients is the number one goal for Baptist Hospital of Southeast Texas’s Behavioral Health Center. Being a danger to self or others is the primary reason for psychiatric inpatient hospitalizations. Best practice requires that all patients be visually checked a minimum of every 15 minutes to verify their wellbeing. Often they must be placed on Close Observation and One to One Monitoring to further reduce their risk of harm. Up until now, all Q15 safety checks have been tracked manually using a paper and pen system. We relied on staff to document that they had visually checked the patient and not just walked by their room, or stay within arm’s length of the patient when it had been ordered. We could never be sure that all checks had been performed as required, unless we retroactively checked video footage, which was notoriously unreliable. So, we researched new and innovative methods to ensure that checks are performed and patients are safe.


VisibleHand is a digital app for safety check documentation. The app electronically verifies patient/staff proximity and measures quality in real time, replacing paper documentation. It is simple for staff to use when rounding and enables management to see patient location, and timeliness of each check as it occurs. Staff uses a cell phone with the app installed. Each patient wears a tamper proof wrist band with a blue tooth beacon attached. The staff member must have the phone close enough for the beacon to register their proximity and then they quickly check off the activity the patient is engaged in (eating, group therapy, sleeping, etc.). The app notifies the staff when checks are due and alerts the charge nurse if any patient has been missed so that they can follow up immediately. There is sensor based measurement of distance between patient and staff to verify that the safety criteria for each observation has been met (line of sight vs. arms reach, etc.).


The staff training literally takes just minutes and can be done virtually. Once completed, we were fully live within days. The immediate feedback of the tool enables us to determine if any staff needs additional training.


We know in real time that our patients are being checked for their safety. Our staff reports that they love the ease and simplicity of this digital app and software. They get real time feedback, and management is able to spend less time retroactively spot checking compliance. We can track, recognize and reward our high performers and focus time on coaching anyone who is having difficulty making timely checks. This product enables us to foster a culture of high performance and excellence, with a data driven system that allows for early identification and correction of any concerns, which leads to safe and reliable patient care.


Submitted by:

Sally Broussard, MA, LMFT

Behavioral Health Administrative Director




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