Happy Holidays from RCare

RCare wishes you and everyone in your community happy holidays, and a very merry holiday season. We do what we do because it makes life in your community better. RCare’s advanced wireless nurse call and monitoring solutions are designed to make your community safer, your staff more effective and your residents happier. More than that, we hope it gives families peace of mind, especially during the holidays.

And with RCare, there’s something under the tree for everyone, from CNAs to facility managers, from social workers to business administrators. RCare’s environmental sensors can alert maintenance staff if it’s wet where it should be dry, or cold where it should be warm. The RPhone mobile handset is a great gift for on-the-go caregivers, allowing them to carry the nursing station in their pocket. The new RMetrix reporting system is on every administrator’s wish list. Your top decision-makers can know all about response times, frequent flyers, and the types of care being performed–even across multiple campuses. Choose from a comprehensive selection of pre-built reports, custom build your own reports, or let our business analysts custom build one for you.

However your community celebrates this year, RCare celebrates with you. We wish you all the best this holiday season.

The RCare Team

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Backup Notifications
This week’s bulletin will cover what to do in an emergency when the system is still functioning, but your method of notification has gone down. It behooves integrators to have a backup plan in place for these types of situations.
Different scenarios may come up that you did not anticipate.  Different notification problem scenarios are coming up all the time, even for RCare.  Being prepared with a backup plan regardless of those scenarios will prevent catastrophes for end users that are left without a way to be notified of incidents.  Here are just some potential scenarios that may arise.
1)     Page encoder RFCD light goes on, but there’s no one able to get on site for a day or two.  End user will not have the equipment or know how, even with RCare’s help, to turn off RFCD feature.
2)     Page Encoder transmitter has stopped working – Pagers alone should never be your only method of notification.
3)     RCM Phone has a battery or charging port that has stopped working.  If there is no backup phones available (There should be), then an entire section or floor may be without a way to receive incidents.
4)     Network issues at facility with no IT – Network issues can bring down any notification method that requires access to the network including, dialers, RCM Phones, VOIP Intercom, SIP voice-to-voice, DLC’s, etc..  You may have RCM that communicates with IC-300’s and a redundant DLC backup, but if all of them are on the same network when they have issues, they’re all dead.

5)     Facility has storm or accident that causes power issues.  Integration device is not plugged into UPS (It should be) and the power supply has died.

1)     Have multiple methods on site

2)     Teach end users how to use web interface as a backup.  Ensure they have a web browser that allows “Beep on Active Incident” before install has been completed.  Beep on active incident can be found as a check box in the users tab.  You should create users for the facility with a limited range of accessibility.  Guest user should also have this box checked.

3)     Email or Email to text -This will allow end users to receive alerts while a permanent solution is in the process of being implemented.a.      First, elect Message Receivers

b.      Select Add new drop down box to select “Email”

c.      Then select “Add”.

d.      Adding an email should be self-explanatory.

e.      Email to Text – In the example below there is a 10 digit phone number with area code followed by @ and then the service provider domain.  Each service provider is different.  Here is a link to potential service provider domains.  http://www.emailtextmessages.com/

f.      Message receivers will need to be added to Notification chain just like any other message receiver

Redundancy and prior proper planning will prevent most issues regarding notification method issues without too much down time.  It won’t however prepare for every situation.  This is where the web interface and email or email to text comes into play.  If the facility has rules against computer/cell phone use, the facility will have to determine whether their rules or their notifications are more important.  Nonetheless, ANY system that is functioning, but whose method of notification has gone down, can use these options in an emergency.  Awareness of these scenarios and solutions will help yourselves and your end users avoid panicking.
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RCare Check-Ins
The focus of this week’s bulletin will be understanding how to set up RCare check-in devices to get a “clean” Check-in Report.  Without following the steps exactly, it is common to obtain false information in these reports that can become confusing.
There are three features that are required to set up to isolate an RCare Check-in device in order get a proper Check-In Report.  First, set up the device correctly.  Second, Isolate RCare Check-In accounts/groups.  Last, Generating Report.
1)     Set Device Function

Individual devices need to have a device function of RCare Check-in.  If it is not set correctly, any signals coming from this device will not be considered a “Check-In”.  It is important to note that there is a distinction between “Supervision” and “Check-In”.  A supervision signal alone does not constitute a “Check-In”. This can be seen in images below.  Despite the fact the system has received and processed a signal, it will not process any activations as an “RCare Check-In”.

2)     Device Isolation
Devices designated to be RCare Check-In devices need to be in their own separate accounts in their own separate groups.  The reason for this is because the RCare Check-In Report does not discriminate between accounts or devices that are set to RCare Check-in function or not.  It will simply pull every single account for the group you have selected.  Then it will review the last received “RCare Check-In” signal from those accounts.
3)     Creating Report
  • Select Reports Tab.
  • Then select RCare-Check-in Report.
  • Select Group to conduct Reporting on
  • Select desired file format to generate report

Any report can also be configured to be automatically report on a scheduled basis at the bottom of the Reports tab.

There has been recent confusion over these reports and why so many “Never” shows up.  This bulletin explains why that occurs and how to avoid it moving forward.  The keys to take away are the system will only do what you tell it to do.  You must be very specific with the configuration because the reporting tool for RCare Check-In’s does not do that querying for you.  Remember to set the correct device Function, isolate the device, and generating report.
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Be Prepared
This week’s tech support bulletin will discuss preparing for a worst-case scenario.  You’ve got a Cube that has gone down and requires repairs…. on a holiday weekend.  That means you might not be able to get a replacement Cube out for 3 or 4 days, which should never be considered acceptable.  There are several steps that can be taken to mitigate the difficulties and frustrations that can arise from a Cube that is down.
1)     Know your facility’s IT department staff and any limitations that may exist.  Setting up expectations for their responsibilities, your responsibilities, and RCare’s responsibilities can limit the time it takes to correct the issue.  In some cases (plural), a facility’s IT department isn’t even aware of the system until they take the Cube down by changing over IP network configuration.  These changes should be planned and scheduled.  It is upon the responsibility of the distributor and the facility to maintain this relationship and to prepare for any network changes.  RCare cannot troubleshoot end user network issues.
2)     You should have a spare Cube ready to go out at a moment’s notice.  It will take a minimum of 24 hours for RCare to build and test a replacement server.  If troubleshooting is done after hours, or on a weekend, that time will only be extended.
3)     A spare Cube is great, but without a backup configuration file the down time will be extensive.  Teach end users how to save backup data.  This is crucial, perhaps the most important thing to teach them before the system goes live.  Even if you have a backup server ready to go, if you don’t have the configuration file you will have to relearn everything from scratch.  So instead of it taking RCare several hours to download the file, it could take you several days depending on how large the facility is.
Step 1:  Select “Backup” option under the system settings tab
Step 2:  Select “Backup Configuration” and “Backup Incidents”
Step 3:  Download Backups
The logistics of purchasing, shipping, installing, and testing a RCare nurse call system typically takes months of preparation and execution.  In the rare case of when a server disrupts that careful planning unexpectedly, there are one of two ways to solve these potential situations.  The first is to be prepared, in which case there is understanding across the board regarding the “what if?” process.  This involves less frustration as well as minimal downtime.  The second involves trying to replicate months’ worth of work as quickly as humanly possible, which can lead to its own set of problems.  The latter option will surely lead to increased frustration, potential loss of customers and/or future projects, and time delays in orders of magnitude longer than simply being prepared.  In short, there are two easy things you can do to minimize this damage caused by a downed Cube.  Set and know expectations with end users, and have backup servers and configuration files.