senior living podcast

RCare CEO and founder Myron Kowal was the feature of a recent Bridge the Gap podcast. He spoke with hosts Joshua Crips and Lucas McCurdy about the origins of RCare, the history, challenges, triumphs, and the future of nurse call systems as it relates to the aging population, and the critical importance of response times in senior living.

Kowal observed that 20 years ago, when everyone had home telephones, the early PERS devices “would call somebody on the telephone and say, hey, this person needed help. The cool thing about that was it had a voice to voice connection so when that person did call for help, they knew someone was coming. It was like, okay, someone’s on the way. I’m gonna be okay.”

As technology improved, the voice-to-voice interaction went away. “When that person pressed the button, they weren’t sure that someone was coming. They would hope that someone was coming and most of the time they did.”

If residents wait too long for help, or even if it just feels like they’ve waited too long, they try to do things on their own, and risk getting seriously hurt.

RCare did a pilot project with Fellowship Square in Arizona using Amazon Alexa. (See “Alexa, please call my nurse.“) “They’re able to say, ‘Alexa, I need help.’ And that would call a caregiver. And we have a voice-to-voice connection that says, ‘A caregiver is on the way.’ It makes people feel like I’m okay. That panic that ensues when you’re in trouble can cause a lot of things to happen.”

According to Kowal, he’s on an “answer the call kick.” If residents wait too long for help, or even if it just feels like they’ve waited too long, they try to do things on their own, and risk getting seriously hurt. 

In addition to offering voice-to-voice options, RCare wants to help communities reduce their response times. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure. You need to look at the data, draw your own conclusions, make your improvements, and then measure your effectiveness.” 

RCare provides detailed metrics to communities, to help them understand what their response times are, what factors affect the length of those response times, and how they can be improved. “What are the mean and average response times to calls? How many calls are we getting? How many caregivers are actually logged into the system in a facility where this is the number of calls that we have as opposed that are logged into the system? We can see those things right now by taking a look at that data, and we’re trying to give it back to the industry so that they can make those improvements.”

Check out the full Bridge the Gap podcast here.

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Remote Support Bulletin
This support bulletin will address some recent disturbances for remote support, and we wanted to address the cause, short-term, and long-term fix. We also want to discuss how this will impact PCC (Point Click Care) customers specifically.
In recent weeks some sites have lost remote access requiring a manual disabling and enabling of remote support. All distributors should review their sites to determine which were affected. These disconnections occurred during updates to our VPN server that we regularly conduct for security reasons. Given the importance of speed surrounding security issues, we can’t always have these changes scheduled. These security measures are a common and necessary practice for all servers and will continue to be. We have confirmed a way to correct the source of the issue with the service that manages the VPN connection allowing remote access. Please continue to report issues with remote access as soon as possible.
For PCC facilities, in particularly we will lose syncing capabilities without this access. Once facilities with PCC have are back online, we will need a manual sync.
Email to Text:
This form of notification should not be considered a primary method of notifying caregivers. Any sites relaying strictly on this form of notification should conduct a review to make the necessary changes. The main function of this service is to allow escalation to administrative staff when calls are not being answered or in otherwise emergencies where regular notification hardware requires replacement. Additionally, at any time, any site can change to their SMTP server or 3rd-party service to send these alerts.
Scheduled reports:
Any reports that do not go out as scheduled due to disruptions in remote access can always generate these reports manually for the time being.
We will be applying the solution to our server here on the morning of 12/02/2019. There will be no downtime or need to concern facilities as these changes are not done on the cubes themselves. None of the security updates will occur until after this time. For any sites not on remote access at this time, we will need to re-push our solution when they do come back online to prevent future disruptions.
1. Disable and Re-enable remote support via front panel

a. Use the Scroll Down Button and select Remote Support on the Main System menu.

b. Press the Select button when you are done.

c. If Remote Support is disabled, the screen will ask you if you want
to enable it.
d. If Remote Support is enabled, the screen will ask if you want to
disable it.

e. Select Yes or No using the Scroll Up or Scroll Down Button.
f. Press the Select button when you are done.
g. When you finish, press the Exit Button.
h. Repeat these steps to re-enable

2. Disable and Re-enable remote support via interface

a. Log in to server locally if IP address is known
b. Select System Settings
c. Select Network Settings
d. Change “Enable remote Support to “No”
e. Save Changes
f.  Repeat steps to re-enable remote support
We recognize the frustration of losing access to sites that require remote access to send emails or texts. For sites currently online this will no longer be an issue after 12/02/2019. Furthermore, the steps above can be sent directly to end users to prevent the need for any onsite visits. Please remember to review current access for all sites as well as review to ensure there are adequate notification configurations in place.