RCare Mobile prevents problems of personal cell phones

#WaronPagers   #RCareMobileVictory

RCare Mobile announced today that after many months of battle against outdated caregiving pagers, the white flag has been raised and RCare Mobile is the victor!

RCare Mobile declares victory in the War on PagersThis long-awaited victory marks a period in professional caregiving history that will change the lives of senior housing administrators, caregiving staff and residents for the better. Staff will now have better and more complete incident information, faster response times, and all without sacrificing patient privacy and integrity.

“For too many years, long-term care facilities have toiled under the tyranny of under-powered, pager-based nurse call systems,” said General Myron Kowal, CEO of RCare, Inc. “This was a battle for professional caregivers who valiantly endured many years of responding to calls without knowing how urgent the situation is, what was needed, or who else was responding. And today I’m proud to stand with them and shout, ‘No more!'”

RCare Mobile provides the functionality caregivers have been longing for. It uses a dedicated locked-down smartphone, on which caregivers receive alerts as well as detailed resident information. It allows two-way voice and text communications, and features the unique I Got It button, that lets other staff know who is responding to the call and eliminates duplicate staff responses.

RCare Mobile declares victory in the War on Pagers

RCare Mobile provides all the smartphone features that caregivers need, and does NOT allow any of the social sharing and photo features that put facilities at legal risk.

Victory arrived just in time. Caregivers had been making heroic efforts in the trenches to make do with their archaic, pager-based call systems. But these efforts are not without costs. Using personal smartphones to communicate amongst staff and provide a high level of care is a dangerous practice for care facilities.

Recently the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made a decisive stand against the use of personal cell phones, especially when care staff take photos and videos, or make posts about residents on social media. CMS has announced it is coming down hard on organizations that don’t have adequate privacy policies against staff taking photos or videos of residents, especially if they post them on social media. This is true even if the staff have written permission from the resident. The reason? Most social media posts don’t meet the definition of a use or disclosure authorized by HIPAA. So any post, even seemingly innocent pictures of a social event, is considered a HIPAA breach. Even more critical, CMS is requiring that facilities report violators to local law enforcement on the charge of elder abuse. CMS is actively cracking down.

With RCare Mobile, long-term care facilities can provide their staff with all the functionality they require in a phone-based call system, eliminating the need for any personal cell phones on the job. RCare Mobile provides all the smartphone features that caregivers need, and allows none of the features that put facilities legal risk. RCare Mobile provides caregivers with two-way communication, complete information, and the unique “I Got It” function that makes sure every call is answered, and without duplicate effort. It does it on a cell phone dedicated to this purpose, with nothing that can get a facility in trouble. No camera. No video. And no access to social media.

The war on pagers has been won. Thanks to RCare Mobile.

RCare Mobile declares victory in the War on Pagers

You can find RCare
at AHCA/NCAL in Nashville
Oct 16-19
Booth #257

and at LeadingAge in Indianapolis
Oct 30-Nov 2
Booth #2418

If you’re at the shows, stop by and see us!

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Several months ago we changed the way our application locks down the phones to prevent end users from using the Wi-Fi to access the internet. This change in our application was developed to allow for easier troubleshooting and reimaging of phones that have had some sort of lockup. Our latest phones, LG 5X, force notify Android updates in a way our previous phones did not. If you update the Android version on your phone(s), it’s likely they will stop working.
While we have always advised to never download an Android update, the most recent batch of LG 5X phones makes it easier for an accidental update by an end user. If you do not restore the application lockdown, end users will most likely unwittingly download the update. If you do this, the messaging and incident options on your home screen will cease working.
It is also important to remember to go into the admin settings of the phone to make sure the “Application Lockdown” has been checked, and the phone is power cycled to save this change. If you select it without rebooting, the phone is not locked down. If you have forgotten how to access the network settings, there is a previous tech bulletin available on the distributors’ page of our website.
Anything after Android version 6.0 could cause problems. So how do you check your phone versions, and what do you do if you’ve update Android version 7.0?
  1. You’ll need to turn off the Application lockdown
  2. Reboot the phone
  3. Swipe down from upper right hand corner and select Settings (Each phone has a slightly different Settings button)
  4. Select “About Phone”, usually at the bottom.
  5. If you have a newer version that is causing this problem with your LG 5x phone, leave the application lockdown turned off to enable the phone to work properly, this is a temporary configuration while we work on rolling back these updates.
Phones that are getting this update request, but have yet to update can be shut off.
  1. Press and Hold System Update until you see Google Play Services. Then press the info button
  2. Select Block all, this will prevent the message form showing up again.
We are working on a fix to revert phones that have already been upgraded, as well as a long term solution to prevent end users from inadvertently doing this. It is important that if you’ve received one of these phones in the past two months you need to tell your facilities to relay this message to the appropriate staff. “Don’t download any updates on your own” should suffice. It is not a good idea to give end users the password to the admin settings.
HIPAA-Compliant RCare Mobile for Security

It happens every day and it’s the ultimate caregiving paradox: should caregivers limit the quality of care they offer by using inadequate tools? Or, should they give the best care possible, but violate federal privacy regulations, while putting your community at risk?

Yikes! Obviously, the correct answer is that neither should be practiced. And so often communities may end up doing both! This is even worse.

Despite the rapid advance of technology, long-term care communities often find themselves using outdated technology such as pager-based nurse call systems. When a patient presses the call button, caregivers are provided with simple, minimal information about the client or the nature of the call, sometimes receiving little more than the room number on the pager display. A standard system doesn’t even allow the two-way communication that would allow caregivers to talk to the client, and to prioritize the call. Many systems don’t specify which caregiver should take the call, or who has responded. This leads to an inefficient duplication of efforts where multiple caregivers may respond to the same alert or worse yet, nobody responds at all.

A recent study from the College of Nursing and Health at the University of Cincinnati identified the biggest problems caregivers had with nurse call systems as: the inability to locate the nurse, the inability to prioritize and confirm calls, and the inability to speak directly to patients and staff. These frustrating problems lead to longer response times, and prevent caregivers from giving premium care.

But caregivers want to provide better care and they have invented creative work-arounds such as using personal unsecured smart devices to communicate with each other regarding patient care. This obvious HIPAA security risk is a problem plaguing administrators and IT staff across the country.

HIPAA applies to all devices that receive, transmit, or store protected health information. The law doesn’t distinguish between work devices, and people’s personal phones and devices. It applies to all devices used by caregivers. Furthermore, today’s cell phones are virtually hand-held computers, which makes violating HIPAA so easy and scary. Caregivers who text or email patient information on their own phones or devices can be in violation, because the information is often transmitted using unsecured mobile networks. This poses more than a few security risks:

  • The transmissions themselves can be intercepted.
  • The information is stored on the phone in an unsecured manner.
  • Photos stored and/or shared from the phone can be a potential privacy problem.
  • Stolen or lost phones are another possible violation.
  • Cloud backup services for their phones can cause still more potential problems.
  • Having phones around can lead to the urge to be on social media, causing even more potential risks and problems.

So. What now?

Don’t worry. We got you!

RCare Mobile was designed so your caregivers can still have all of the fast communication and secure messaging capabilities, avoid duplication and ensure accountability with the “I got it” feature, while sharing more resident information about the situation so the caregiver knows what to expect and what to bring to a call.

Caregivers can put the personal phones away and use our brand new LIFE Phone powered by RCare Mobile. This new secure, smart device is locked down to provide secure 2-way communication. It has a sophisticated display screen that provides information about the call, not just the room number. Caregivers will see the resident’s name, history, and the nature of the call. Because it’s a phone, it lets the caregiver place calls to ask questions, determine any supplies or equipment needed, and let the resident know who is coming to help, and when. The “I got it” feature makes sure that every call gets answered, and lets everyone know who got the call.

Better yet is what the RCare Mobile phone doesn’t do. It doesn’t violate HIPAA. PHI is transmitted, received, and stored securely. It doesn’t cost a lot. And it sure doesn’t do Facebook.

What are you waiting for? The choice is clear.

Happy Labor Day from RCare

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” – Vince Lombardi

For most families in the U.S., Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer. We celebrate with barbecues, parades, picnics with our families, and we maybe even squeeze in one last summer vacation. But do we take the time to appreciate why we have this holiday, and what we’re truly celebrating?

Labor Day was created in late 1800s to pay tribute to American workers. It became an official federal holiday in 1894, to honor working people, their achievements, and the contributions they make to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the country.

So, as you celebrate this Labor Day, as you enjoy the last 3-day weekend of summer, RCare invites you to reflect with us on the daily contributions of the many workers who care for our elderly, our disabled, and our sick population. We’re truly appreciative of the amazing work these compassionate and hard-working people do for the weakest, and most vulnerable of our citizens. We rely on these workers to heal, support, care, and yes, clean up, as they go about the messy, challenging, rewarding, and difficult work that comes with any kind of caregiving.

RCare exists because we’re passionate about helping long-term care communities. Our mission is to empower these caregiving staff members. We know their frustrations, and we’ve created tools to help make their work more efficient, more effective, and a little bit easier. We want to help, as they strive to make their communities a better place to live, to visit, and to work. We do this by helping caregivers feel connected to each other, connected to residents and connected to management. RCare empowers professional caregivers to make better decisions and allow them to track success. We know why caregivers go to work every day and it’s to offer the best quality of care possible. RCare strives to assist in that mission.

This Labor Day while we enjoy the company of our friends, neighbors and family members, let’s remember to give praise to our nation’s workers. And join RCare in giving an extra dose of appreciation to our nation’s hard-working caregivers, to the health professionals in the trenches, giving the day-to-day care, to their hardworking administrators, and to all of those unpaid family caregivers who devote endless time and dedication for their loved ones.

We appreciate you and we thank you!
Happy Labor Day!

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Thanks to the great job of our Distributors, such as you & your team, the market share of RCare and our products has grown. As our Distributors and our products have grown, so has the nature of calls to our tech support team.  Some calls are easier than others; the more complex ones we require more formal scheduling moving forward to provide our distributors, their support staff, and our software team with adequate time to address the issue appropriately and more efficiently.  This week’s tech bulletin will contain a list of subjects that fit the latter category.
Scheduling support for these more complex issues will make it easier for us to provide quality support in a timely manner.
Anything related to telephony with the facility’s phone system or third party equipment; both installation and post-installation.  For Installation, it is imperative that you have your dial plan ready, 3rd party equipment understanding, and someone from the 3rd party’s support team on the calls.  Post Installation basic troubleshooting will be done at all times, but if it appears to be a more complex issue further troubleshooting will need to be scheduled, and someone from the 3rd party’s support team may need to be available.
RCare Mobile Software Updates
We will address any issues as they arise during installation; it would be beneficial to have advanced noticed when RCare Mobile features are being tested for installation.  Phones will arrive at the installation site preloaded, by scheduling post installation upgrades we’ll have time to discover the cause before we attempt to force a solution without proper analysis.
Digi Related Updates
Adding a Serial to Ethernet Converter to a project for an External Master Receiver or Accutech Integration requires proper planning.  Please have a Static IP address reserved and programmed prior to scheduling tech support.  We can’t implement software changes of this nature unless the digi is programmed and actively pingable from the server.
Installing A Product For
The First Time
We’ve made lots of changes and improvements to both our software and hardware this year and many installers, even seasoned installers, will be finding themselves in a situation in which they are working with something they’ve never seen before. (i.e ALP fingerprinting, G4, GSM dialers, and CC-900 to name a few).

To schedule time with our technicians on any of the above-mentioned issues: call the office and ask to speak with Tech Support. Expect to schedule time with the technician(s) on the next business day (with the exception of Fridays or mid-week holidays; we would prefer not to make any major changes before any significant time away from the facility or office). Of course not all tech support issues happen on queue and we will always strive to provide the best support possible.

This week’s tech bulletin is more of a guideline for ways you can help us help you.  We understand installers and support staff don’t know when an issue is “complex” and often times, time is of the essence.  Therefore, waiting 24 hours is not always feasible.  This is more geared towards known issues or upcoming installation scenarios that can be scheduled to help streamline support.
….that, tis’ the question. ;)

September 1st, 2016 Rochester, NY– We see and hear ‘Interoperability’, ‘Integrated’, and other buzzwords all the time, all different ways of saying systems are talking together. But what do these words actually mean? We’ll dive into what integrations actually are, how they happen, and when they matter and when they don’t.

About RCare:

RCare is a provider of UL 1069 tested wireless nurse call and personal emergency response systems for the entire spectrum of eldercare and senior living. RCare components integrate into a variety of healthcare communication systems to create efficient and verifiable responses to medical emergencies. RCare works together with distribution partners to build individualized, flexible and seamless systems to enhance professional caregiving teams and their residents.