Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 5.34.15 PMSomeone in your senior housing community needs help and triggers your nurse call system. Pagers go off, telling your staff that assistance is needed.

Did you spot the problem? It’s not enough for the CNAs to know who needs help. They still don’t know what the situation is. Nor do they know which of them is to respond to the call.  When you replace your pagers with RCare Mobile™, caregivers are empowered with information: the caller’s name, photo, location, important medical facts, even personal preferences. And they can know which of them is responding.

Not only is your CNA going to show up with the right resources and equipment with no duplication of effort, the quality of contact is transformed. Receiving assistance from someone who not only knows you by name, but also knows that your grandson got married recently, makes a real difference. That difference will be reflected on your resident satisfaction surveys.

Information empowerment isn’t just for CNAs. Community managers and directors of nursing will know a whole lot more with RCare Mobile, too. Which caregiver responded? How long did it take? How long were they there? Which services were provided? Detailed reporting leads to new insights, helping you better manage staff and increase efficiency community-wide.

There’s never been a better time to ditch your pager system. RCare: winning the #WarOnPagers, one community at a time.

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ABSTRACT: 
As we transition to G4, ALP (Advanced Locating Protocol) will become an integral part of our increased locating capability. Fingerprinting or mapping a facility properly is essential to the accuracy and reliability of this new capability. However, if not done in the correct order, it can cause lots of headaches and extra work.

 

TECH SUPPORT SUMMARY:
ALP Now uses RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) to record and measure the location of a resident in your facility.  Fingerprinting is the recording aspect of this process in which the installer will build a database of average signal strengths for locators in a specific area.  The Fingerprinting table will create a database that is then used to match the values of signal strength when a regular device triggers an alarm.
Step 1:  Learn pendant in as device function “Fingerprint”.
Step 2:  Select New Fingerprint Option in System Settings to access   Fingerprinting Table.
Step 3:  Fingerprinting – This must be done in this specific order or you will not have accurate data.
     A) Select Add New Location 
     B) Enter Floor Number (Must be Numerical) and Description. The more descriptive the better because the information in this field is how location will now be reported to end users. Then Press Save Location.
    C) Press device every 10 seconds with a recommended minimum of 5 presses per location. Outer limits and a central location is best. You may need to hit refresh a few times before the correct quantity shows up as the database processes our calls
     D) VERY IMPORTANT:  This location that you saved last will remain the active fingerprinting location until you save a new one.  You MUST save before the location can be fingerprinted or else you are finger printing the previous location still and filling your database with inaccurate signal strength values.  Do not worry that your saved location does not populate automatically.  It does not populate until it has data.  By hitting Refresh it will populate with an update on the quantity of presses. There is a lag on the press quantity as the system process new data into the database, but if you do not wait the full 10 seconds it may not register your press properly.  You will not be able to go back to a location once you have finished fingerprinting it. If you made a mistake, you will have to delete entry and re-fingerprint that section.
Step 4:  Verify by select a “Normal Call” Pendant that has been programmed to confirm location
SOLUTION:
The more descriptive, the better! Remember, the description you manually enter is now the data that will be presented to caregivers. Make sure they understand your descriptions before leaving a facility. First Floor West means nothing if they consider that hall the 100 Hall. Outside areas like parking lots or near elevators that has increased natural interference require more presses to make the average value more accurate. If you fingerprint your facility using the proper steps you will have a drastically improved ability to locate residents. If you do it wrong, you could have drastically decreased your ability.

Screen Shot 2016-04-25 at 11.20.26 AMBeep. Beep. Beep. A page loudly rings through to four of the CNAs on staff at Greenwood Senior Homes. There’s a call on level two of the west wing. Help requested immediately. That’s the end of the communication. At this point, none of the caregivers know how urgent the situation is, any helpful details and most importantly whether all or none of them will actually respond to the call.

The most troubling issue with outdated pager systems is that everyone receiving the page might think: “I’m busy and far away. I’m sure someone else will get it.”

This is clearly a problem that can be resolved with better mobile technology like RCare Mobile.

“Senior housing facilities are still using pager systems, and we’ve seen up close how frustrated their staffs have become, especially with the lack of accountability,” said Myron Kowal, RCare’s CEO and founder. “Pagers don’t convey much information about a potentially urgent problem, and don’t allow for two-way communication. Where is the problem? What should I bring? How urgent is it? Who is accountable for it?”

Caregiving staff have admitted to this frustration and have adopted a work-around strategy of  resorting to their own personal smart devices to enable the two-way communication they need when responding to calls. This poses several HIPAA-related problems including a breach to facility security and patient privacy. It also poses an unwelcome distraction in the form of personal communications and the access to various social channels in a busy care environment.

“We knew there needed to be a better solution that was faster and easier to handle, that enabled professional messaging, but didn’t allow access to personal social media. We created a HIPAA-compliant mobile platform called RCare Mobile, for nursing staff to securely and quickly communicate and respond in real time to real issues, really fast.”

RCare Mobile uses smartphone-like handsets through which caregivers receive alerts as well as detailed resident information and location. They allow voice and text communications with other staff including the I Got It button, letting other staff know who is responding to the call.

Learn more about how RCare MobileTM can empower your Caregivers. https://rcareinc.com/products/rcare-mobile/.

Pretty Pretty Pendants are back in stock, order yours today!

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We know seniors can sometimes resist having to wear those bulky, ugly PERS pendants.

This led us to pose the question, “why do pendants have to be ugly?” Turns out, they don’t! It isn’t an actual requirement. (We checked).

Our Pretty Pretty Pendants have been a Pretty HUGE success!  Needless to say, we’re Pretty excited.

While we knew at least some seniors and senior living facilities would be interested in our new Pretty Pretty Pendants, we didn’t realize just how interested they would be and we sold out immediately. Don’t worry, we made more! We now have our Pretty Pretty Pendants back in stock and they are already going pretty fast!

Don’t wait, contact us to get yours now. Please visit https://rcareinc.com/contact/.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 11.30.17 AMThey said Beauty lies within.

We say Flaunt it!  

They say Liberty is within us.

We say Wear it proudly on your chest!

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ISSUE: 
We mentioned last month that we would be updating our remote support server and anyone that had IP restrictions on their firewall for outgoing port 1194 will be effected.  Facilities that have implemented these restrictions and are also using our remote support server to send emails for notifications or alerts will lose this capability if they do not make the necessary changes this weekend.

 

TECH SUPPORT SUMMARY:
We are moving to a new Remote Support server that has improved processing for our 500+ cubes worldwide. There are only two things you need for Remote Support: Valid DNS and an open outgoing port 1194.  We have implemented some software changes that will allow the DNS to always be valid and cubes built as of this month will all have this feature automatically.
From time to time, we will get a facility that wants to restrict traffic on this port by directing it back solely to our remote support server.   The old remote support server that will be retired this weekend is at the following IP address: 24.97.90.141.  The new Remote support server will be at 209.252.247.27. This can ONLY be adjusted by whoever manages the facility’s firewall, be it local IT, off-site, or their internet service provider.  Response Care can do nothing to change or support firewall settings.

How do I know if my facility is using email or email to text?  If you have any message receivers that have an “E-mail” as opposed to “Phone” or “Pager” in the address line, then you are using email services to notify someone of incidents or service reports.

How do I know if my facility is using Response Care’s remote support server for “E-mail” notifications?  Select the Email Configuration page under the System Settings tab.
Once in the E-Mail Configuration page, look at the “Send mail through server” option.  If it says 10.199.0.1, you are using our remote support server to send emails.
How do I know if my facility has restricted their firewall?  You don’t.  There’s no way to know, unless you remember, or contact your facility’s IT departments.  This should happen immediately.  The good news is only a small percentage of facilities have set this up.  So just because you are using emails, and are using Response Care’s Remote Support doesn’t mean you have to worry.  This change will happen in the background without any bumps during the transition this weekend.  By the same token, just because a facility uses their own server for email traffic doesn’t mean they won’t lose remote support capability.
SOLUTION:
Contact the IT department or an individual who can contact the facility’s firewall support provider just to make sure.  It doesn’t hurt to make a few phone calls to be safe.  What does hurt is trying to get Time Warner or Comcast out there immediately when the facility stops receiving alarms or service alerts.

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Shouting “Call 9-1-1” to a crowd of onlookers in a medical emergency doesn’t work. Instead, it’s better to identify a specific individual to make the call. Why? Because if you don’t, the call might not get made. Scientists call this the “bystander effect” or the diffusion of responsibility. When everybody is responsible, no one is accountable.

This is one of several reasons why pager systems are inadequate for senior housing communities. When a resident needs help, every pager goes off. Who’s accountable for responding to that call? No one knows.

With RCare Mobile, accountability is guaranteed. When the call for help goes out, the nearest available staff member responds using the “I Got It” feature to let other staff know that they are handling it. Now you know who is accountable, every time.

Find out more about RCare Mobile and RCare’s War on Pagers.

Long term care and senior housing communities around the world are finding their archaic pager systems to be ineffective and outdated. They’re coming to RCare Mobile™ for the two-way communication, and the “I Got It” accountability feature.

When healthcare professionals communicate about life and death emergencies, they need more than just a beep and a phone number. They need to know who is having the emergency, and what kind of emergency it is. They need to know where it is, what is needed, and who is responding. They need to know how urgent the matter is. Should they drop everything and run, or can they finish with their current patient first? And they need to know right away. That’s why it’s time for pagers to pack it in. Hit the road. Make way for more effective technology. Make way for RCare Mobile’s accountability.

Disgruntled nurses across the country are sending video footage of their hilarious disposals of the old tech. Check out the footage from the front…

But I know some of you are worried. When the war has been won, and health facilities are communicating with technology from this decade, what is to become of all those old pagers? If you’re like my grandparents, you’re thinking, those thingamajigees still have some good in them.

As the official RCare MobileTM War on Pagers wages on, RCare wants to help you figure out some good uses for these previously unusable items. There’s no need for them to go to waste. We’ve come up with 15 new and innovative uses for your old pagers. (Note that none of the new uses involve taking care of patients and residents or communicating with staff. That’s better left to RCare MobileTM.) Enjoy new ways to use your pagers.

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ABSTRACT: 
If you add a domelight to the system prior to the dome light controller network board (DLC-LCD) being on the network, you can create a major lag for all other network devices. It is very important to understand that this lag can create confusion that makes individuals “trigger happy”, which further gives the appearance that dome lights and other network devices aren’t functioning properly. Two way communication devices (Ex: RCare Mobile and D-3900 Dialers) and the other domelight controllers in particular are noticably effected. We have seen delays on properly installed DLC’s as high as 20 minutes because of multiple non-network connected DLC’s. It doesn’t matter if you have 20 DLC’s and 19 are funcioning properly, if one is bad, improperly installed, or just has no network, the whole system will be effected.

 

TECH SUPPORT SUMMARY:
1. The communication between the cube and when it finally lights a domelight is a multiple step process. The first step is when the cube looks to see if the DLC driver is active. If it is not, you will see the “Dome Light Controller” option in System Settings as blacked out with no hyperlink.
2. The next step is when the driver is active; the cube looks to what DLC’s have been programmed into the driver. If there are no DLC’s programmed, then that is what the driver reports back in a matter of milliseconds. If there are network boards programmed, then one by one starting from the top of the list the DLC driver waits for a handshake response from that programmed network device. This process is always active and constantly looping itself as a failsafe to ensure the devices that have been programmed are communicating with the server.
3. In the event that one or more of these domelight’s, which are programmed into the cube, are not connected to the network the driver will get stuck waiting for a response. And in turn the cube will wait for the driver to report back. Eventually, it will move on to the next DLC, but not before confusion offers an opportunity to exacerbate the issue.
SOLUTION:
It is not uncommon for installers to pre-program facilities and for facilities to request live demo’s prior to everything being properly installed. Once you program a DLC into the System Settings, it can only be deleted if it is not programmed into any accounts. Therefore there are two solution around this problem. If you have not pre-configured everything and want to test the vaildity of a DLC, all non network connected DLC’s need to be deleted from the System Settings. If you have preconfigured it, you will need to find a switch to connect all programmed DLC’s. Even if you need to plug in 4-5 DLC-LCD’s and rest them on a shelf together. Bottom line, if you want to test the functionality of any dome light controller, all DLC’s programmed into the system need to be online.

Why privacy matters with the latest and greatest nurse call systems.

RCare with shadow

Our customers know RCare as the industry leaders, the head innovators. Usually that means a helpful new technology, a new thing that goes beep. Not this time. Today we’re leading the industry in an entirely new way: privacy.

We realize that this might raise a few industry eyebrows. But nurse call systems are no longer the simple, one-dimensional products of 20 years ago. The ever-increasing need for interoperability and integration with EMR and population health systems necessitates a more secure approach. And while all that new functionality helps deliver better care, it also demands additional responsibilities from companies like ours. That’s why we at RCare have decided it’s critical to ensure that all our solutions are HIPAA-compliant.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulates, among other things, the use and disclosure of protected health information. That is, it establishes guidelines for keeping private medical data private.  It’s an important issue for our customers and so it’s important to us, too.

Turns out that becoming HIPAA-compliant isn’t a small thing. In fact, people familiar with our plan often asked us why we were even bothering, since none of our competitors seem to be doing it. The answer is that we want to be proactive, to get out in front of these issues. Taking a “wait and see what happens” position struck us as an irresponsible approach to privacy and security. We know where the industry is going. We know because we’re taking it there ourselves. So why wait until a crisis occurs? Why wait until someone’s medical data is not safe and private? We think now’s the time to address HIPAA compliance.

Our customer facilities already know all about HIPAA, but to make sure RCare matches their level of compliance we had to take a careful look at a lot of different areas, from the way we design our products to our own internal practices. We now have policies on how to secure client data, like making sure protected information is encrypted at every stage of use. We have performed risk analysis and mitigation. We have rigorous policies about breach notifications, so our customers will always know exactly what is going on with their data. On top of all this we have done extensive training to make sure that everyone at RCare understands these policies and practices–including how important they are.

Going forward we want all our customers to know that even as their care models are being enhanced through our newest and most innovative features, their privacy and security are guaranteed.

You’ve always known that RCare’s got the most advanced nurse call solutions. Now you know that RCare’s also got your back.

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ABSTRACT: 
If you do not back up you configuration file and incident history you are in danger losing all of your data as well as potentially committing a HIPAA violation. A worst case scenario is not only losing all your data and not having a backup, but afterwards also having a facility discover they unknowingly committed a HIPAA violation when several periodic clicks could have prevented it.
TECH SUPPORT SUMMARY:
These files protect against hard drive failures or other unexpected loss of data. While these are extremely rare, you can’t predict when it will occur. The configuration file protects you from having to relearn all the accounts and groups. The incident allows for ease of troubleshooting, but is also required by HIPAA to be saved weekly if there are ephi (Electronic Public Health Information) either in the account or the notes added any incidents. These files typically should be saved by an approved administrator at the facility. We will be able to take this file and reload it onto the replacement cube or hard drive.

SOLUTION:

Teach end users how to save this data and if there are any concerns about HIPAA compliance, you need to bring this up to a facility administrator.

Step 1: Select “Backup” option under the system settings tab
Step 2: Select “Backup Configuration” and “Backup Incidents”
Step 3. Download Backups