Future of Tech in Long Term Care: Wireless Nurse Call Systems
Technology has dramatically impacted the way we work in the business sector, the way we relax at home, the way we communicate with one another, our education systems and so much more. It’s completely logical then that technology is also reshaping Senior Care.
Worksighted has partnered with some of the largest Long-Term Care Providers in Michigan and, functioning as their IT department, we are on the front lines of seeing how this industry is radically adapting to the new possibilities that technology presents.
“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”—W. Edwards Deming
To be fair, our expertise is not infinite, so we partner with great companies for some of these changes, including RiverView Service. Riverview met with us recently to talk about one of the most innovative aspects impacting long-term care communities: wireless nurse call systems.
What is a wireless nurse call system?
This is a system that is used by the Care Teams to manage and track resident care. It integrates with EMAR (Electronic Medical Administration Records) and can connect to mobile devices that the Care Team can carry around. It will alert a member of the Care Team when a resident calls and capture data so that these teams can work more efficiently.
Example: A resident pushes a button to ring for a nurse. All of the Care Team is alerted in that area – one person would “claim” the call and respond to it. (With traditional wired systems, an intercom alert beeps and it’s not uncommon for multiple Care Team members to respond to the same call.)
How does this benefit staff?
- Power of Data. With the tracking of calls, request types, and response time, the Care Team is able to focus their time on what matters most and adapt quickly to changing needs.
- Efficiency. Care Teams will know immediately if a request is covered, having confidence that the patient is cared for, it enables them to continue the task at hand.
- Communication. Simpler communication platform – team members can receive alerts on a desktop or laptop via email, text, pager, mobile device notification or reader board.
- Accountability. Many communities suffer from a high rate of staff turnover. Nurse call systems empower teams to hold one another accountable and emphasize where there might be gaps.
Why would administration care?
- Data. These systems capture data on response time (which can help with accountability), the quantity of calls, which residents are making the most calls, how much time is required to care for each resident, etc. Data empowers the administration to accurately plan for staffing and identify trends that may require planning for the future. Situational awareness is an immeasurably valuable tool for teams making these decisions.
- Employee Satisfaction. Turnover has been shown to decrease dramatically after implementing a Nurse Call System. We had one customer who went from an 83% annual turnover rate to a 35% turnover rate.
- Liability. Organizations can use reporting data to prove how quickly a staff member was able to respond to a request and use this in the event of a lawsuit.
How does this help residents and their families?
- No overhead tones! Wireless Nurse Call systems are quiet — they don’t require the overhead paging and tones that traditional systems do. (Can you imagine how much nicer this is in the middle of the night?)
- Better overall care. Care Teams will be more alert and responsive as they can track who is responding to which calls which means faster support.
- Data-driven decision making. With less turnover and data driving care decisions, residents can expect leadership to have better situational awareness, and therefore, better planning.
- Safety. These systems also integrate with security systems and wearable devices such as necklaces or bracelets. The devices alert the Care Team if a resident is wandering out of their safe area and can even alert the Team to certain types of motion, such as falling.
- Peace of Mind. Families will have peace of mind knowing that they can check the facts on response time and will also benefit from the upgraded wireless networks that will enable better virtual communication with their loved ones.
We can help Long Term Care facilities plan for the implementation of Nurse Call Systems including the wireless network infrastructure needed to support this new technology. Having already supported many of our clients through this transition (including one with 27+ locations), we have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to make it a smooth transition for you and your team.
Interested in learning more? Sign up for a free 60-minute Power Hour with one of our LTC experts to talk through your goals and how we can help you achieve them.