RCare News & Blog

Happy Anniversary to the Hotel Industry’s 5-Star Promise

Happy Anniversary to the Hotel Industry’s 5-Star Promise

One year ago, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) made a groundbreaking pledge to improve the safety and security of hotel workers in the United States. Member hotels were invited to commit to the 5-Star Promise, a voluntary pledge to improve the safety of their workers by improving their sexual harassment policies, training and resources. The most significant point of the 5-Star Promise was the promise to provide electronic safety devices (ESDs) to their staff, to keep them safe on the job.

When the 5-Star Promise began, there were 17 participating hotels and hotel chains nationwide. Now, just one year later, participation has grown to 56, a dramatic 230% increase. This represents an estimated 20,000 hotel properties, with an estimated 1.2 million employees who will be safer on the job.

“As an industry of people taking care of people, we have always been deeply committed to safety and security for our employees and guests. We have a responsibility to ensure they feel safe and secure,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “I’m proud of the progress we have made as an industry over the past year, and we will continue our efforts to ensure America’s hotels are safe places for all those who work in and visit them.”

“Just the possibility of danger has been enough of a morale depletant over the decades to give certain organizational roles a toxic aura.” – Larry Mogelonsky, Hotel Security Consultant

Housekeepers typically work alone. When confronted with risky situations, they have little protection. Stories abound of guests exposing themselves to workers, or worse. With an electronic safety device, the endangered worker presses a button to summon assistance from hotel security. The alert is sent automatically, and includes the location of the employee, so security can respond immediately to where help is needed.

The impact of the 5-Star Promise is even greater than just the safety and security of current employees. It also changes the perception of the job and its risks, which is critical to staffing, an important challenge for the industry.

“Just the possibility of danger has been enough of a morale depletant over the decades to give certain organizational roles a toxic aura. For instance, I don’t doubt for a second that the horror stories of housekeepers past have deterred many potential hires, thereby contributing to the current staffing problems we presently face,” according to hotel security consultant Larry Mogelonsky. “Given this likelihood for not only widely augmented safety but also improved morale and employee retention, I’m all over ESD adoption at any hotel worldwide.”

Why RCare?

Choosing the right ESD system is important. In case of an emergency, you want to ensure that your system works as needed in your facility. RCare’s wireless ALP Hospitality Suite can help. RCare has been an innovator and leader in the crisis alert and nurse call industry for over a decade. RCare’s systems have a proven track record for reliability and accuracy, even in the toughest conditions. RCare’s hotel crisis system uses military-grade RF, a signal protocol proven to be far more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth, to ensure every alert is received. It has a wide listening range, even in the oldest buildings with challenging infrastructure. It uses Advanced Locating Protocol (ALP) to send location information with every call, so valuable time isn’t wasted determining where help is needed. Regardless of your hotel’s size or budget, RCare can help.

Want to know more about hotel duress systems? Contact RCare to find out how they can enhance safety and security for your hospitality staff.

Hotel Safety Devices: To Beep or Not to Beep

Hotel Safety Devices: To Beep or Not to Beep

The hotel industry is making great strides in protecting the safety of its workers. Cities and states have begun requiring hotels to provide their staff, especially those who work alone, such as housekeepers, with Employee Safety Devices (ESDs) for summoning help. 

Many more employees will be protected thanks to the hotel groups that have committed to the “5-Star Promise,” new safety standards for staff that includes a stipulation to “provide hotel employees with employee safety devices to help them feel safe on the job.

The results are promising, according to Security Magazine. In just one year, the number of hotel brands that have agreed to participate in the 5-Star Promise has increased from 17 to 56. That encompasses approximately 20,000 hotels employing over a million staff who will be protected.

Given the large percentage of hotel workers who have been threatened or harassed on the job (more than half, according to a survey of hotel workers in Chicago), this is a welcome development. 

So, what’s the problem? Hotels need to choose a safety system that will actually work to keep employees safe.

The city of Miami Beach is a case in point. Last year it passed an ordinance requiring safety devices for hotel employees. But, according to the Miami Herald, some hotels in the city have  simply provided workers with hand-held noisemakers, hoping to satisfy the law, which states that safety devices must “effectively summon prompt assistance to the employee’s location by a hotel or hostel security officer.”

Why Noisemakers Don’t Make the Safety Cut:

Will a simple noisemaker actually protect a housekeeper working alone on a floor? Probably  not. Even if other staff are working in the vicinity, the sound-deadening in the walls between rooms will likely prevent them from hearing the alarm. If security personnel don’t happen to be within hearing range, they are unlikely to know that help is needed. What’s more, the devices are easy to muffle or disarm, and even if heard, they may not be recognized as a call for help. Worse yet, a noisy alarm could “result in more physical harm to the employee” when the perpetrator tries to silence it or take it from the housekeeper, according to hospitality industry consultant Larry Mogelonsky.

What’s more, with noisemakers, it would be nearly impossible to know where to send help, who needs it, and whether it is still needed.

To truly protect hotel workers, alerts from hotel safety devices must reach hotel security, and must include location information, so that help can be sent quickly, and to the right place. The alerts must use a transmission protocol that works in buildings of any and all size and density. And they must convey location information 3-dimensionally, with both the floor of the hotel, and the location on the floor, where the help is needed. 

The city of Miami Beach followed up with a letter to the hotels within its city’s limits, clarifying the law. “Devices such as ‘noisemakers’ do not meet the requirements set forth in the ordinance, as they simply emit loud noise and do not disclose the location of the employee in need of prompt assistance,” the letter said. 

In case of an emergency, you want to ensure that everyone in your building feels protected and safe. RCare’s wireless ALP Hospitality Suite can help. This reliable and durable hotel crisis system uses military-grade RF, a signal protocol proven to be far more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth, to ensure every alert is received. It has a wide listening range, even in the oldest buildings with challenging infrastructure. It uses Advanced Locating Protocol (ALP) to send location information with every call, so valuable time isn’t wasted determining where help is needed.

Want to know more about hotel duress systems? Contact RCare to find out how they can enhance safety and security for your hospitality staff.

Join RCare at the 2019 LeadingAge Expo in San Diego

Join RCare at the 2019 LeadingAge Expo in San Diego

LeadingAge is an enormous gathering of not-for-profit organizations across the entire field of aging services. It is designed for participants to think, to learn, to network and to grow. This year, the attendees are challenged to imagine the future of aging with the theme: “What if?”

We love this theme. RCare has always pushed the boundaries of what a nurse call system can do and we’ve continued to innovate with the phrase “what if” in mind.

What if your nurse call system could help you with resident satisfaction? What if it could help with staff retention? What if it could give you actionable data to help with QAPI? What if it could save your staff time by integrating with other systems you’re already using for wander management, door access, or records? What if it could save you money by working with your existing hardware? What if it could bring you powerful features, no matter what your size or budget?

You see, we have been thinking about this for a while. And we are inspired:

What if RCare gave you super powers? What if your response times became super response times?

This year at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo, RCare has a challenge for your community: “improve response times and improve your resident experience”.

What is the average response time for your community? Do you know? Can you measure it? Is it improving?

You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Everyone in the community benefits when response times improve. RCare gives you the power to look at your response times and make the change. When you do, you will start to see immediate benefits.

What if we vowed to build a solution customized to your needs?

What if we made it affordable?

What if we made it an easy choice?

No matter what kind of community, no matter what your size or budget, RCare can help. Stop by Booth #1624 and talk to RCare about how RCare’s advanced nurse call systems can empower you to make big improvements in your response times. And while you’re there, take your photo and post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #RMan or #RWoman for your chance to win great prizes.

2019 LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo
October 27-30, 2019
San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, CA
#LeadingAge19

RCare Booth #1624
Facebook: @rcareinc
Twitter: @ResponseCare
#LeadingAge19, #RMan, #RWoman

Expo Times/Dates:
Monday, October 28, 11:30am – 3:30pm
Tuesday, October 29, 12:00 – 3:30pm
Wednesday, October 30, 9:30 – 11:30am

Don’t Panic Hotel Worker Safety

Don’t Panic Hotel Worker Safety

New Jersey has become the very first state to require panic buttons for hotel worker safety, a major win for the state’s hospitality industry.

For many hotel employees, the threat of violence or harassment is a serious risk, especially when working alone. “Sometimes it’s a long floor of rooms, and you may be the only one working there,” according to a Tropicana housekeeper.

Support for the law soared after a 2018 sexual assault of a staff housekeeper by a Bally’s Casino guest, according to NBC News. The guest, a 51-year-old male, pushed the female employee into a room and assaulted her.

Hotel employees have reported numerous instances of assault, attempted assault, and harassment. The threat is not always from guests. A housekeeper at Caesars reported that she once attempted to service a guest room, only to open the door to two charging dogs.

Governor Phil Murphy explained in a statement reported in USA Today, “We must protect the safety of workers in the hospitality industry. This new law will ensure that hotel employees performing their duties will have the means to summon immediate assistance if they are in danger.”

The new law requires that any employee who works alone in a hotel with more than 25 guest rooms must be provided with a panic button to carry or wear at work.

How do hotel duress systems work?

Employees are provided with a push button pendant to wear on their wrist or a lanyard, or carry in a pocket. When the button is pressed, it transmits the signal wirelessly to a central station, typically in the hotel’s security headquarters. The most effective systems include the location of the call, and information about who requested help.

RCare, Inc. is the maker of the wireless Hospitality Suite. This reliable and durable hotel crisis system uses military-grade RF, a signal protocol proven to be far more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth, to ensure every alert is received. It has a wide listening range, even in the oldest buildings with challenging infrastructure. It uses Advanced Locating Protocol (ALP) to send location information with every call, so valuable time isn’t wasted determining where help is needed.

While New Jersey is the first state to mandate hotel duress systems, several cities, including Sacramento, Long Beach, and Chicago, have passed similar laws, and a few major hotel firms have taken the lead in proactively providing these devices for their employees’ safety.

In case of an emergency, you want to ensure that everyone in your building feels protected and safe. RCare’s wireless ALP Hospitality Suite can help. Want to know more about hotel duress systems? Contact RCare to find out how they can enhance the safety and security for your hospitality staff.

Calling all Superheroes: Join RCare at the AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo

Calling all Superheroes: Join RCare at the AHCA/NCAL Convention and Expo

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

Are you going to the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Orlando this year? Are you “ready for any challenge?” RCare is ready to provide you with the latest and greatest technologies and reporting tools to help you improve your response time. Are you ready to accept this challenge?

This industry spends countless dollars catering to residents’ needs, wants and desires. So, what do we come up with? Enhanced workout centers, bistros (OK, everybody likes bistros), golf putting greens, insides that look like the outside, fake clouds, circadian lighting, and the list goes on and on.

But we are not addressing the single most important thing we can do for residents. Improve call response times. Response times are critical to resident health, resident safety and resident satisfaction. When residents are admitted, they’re instructed to push the button or pull the cord whenever they need help. What they don’t know is that most likely it will take around 8-15 minutes for someone to respond.

When a resident needs help, they need to know that their call was received, and that help will arrive soon. Otherwise, you know what will happen: they’ll try to take care of things themselves, whether it’s getting out of bed, using the restroom, taking a shower. And, too often, that leads to falling.

What is the average response time for your community? Do you know? Is it the same for every shift? Every wing? Can you measure it? Is it improving? Are you proud of it?

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. And everyone in the community benefits when response time improves. Look at your response times and make the change. When you do, you will start to see immediate benefits.

No matter what kind of community, no matter what your size or budget, RCare can help. Stop by Booth #1512 and talk to RCare about how RCare’s advanced nurse call systems can empower you to make big improvements in your response times. And while you’re there, take your photo and post it on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #RMan or #RWoman for your chance to win great prizes.

RCare at the AHCA-NCAL Convention and Expo

RCare provides you the power to improve your response time! Who’s ready to take on this challenge? #RMAN #RWoman #RCareChallenge

Myron Kowal, Founder and CEO of RCare

Myron Kowal
Founder and CEO of RCare

AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo
October 14–16, 2019
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL

RCare Booth #1512
Expo Times/Dates
Monday, Oct. 14, 11:30am-3:00pm
Tuesday, Oct. 15, 10:30am-1:30pm

#AHCANCAL19 #RMan #RWoman

Alexa, please call my nurse: an RCare Alexa case study

Alexa, please call my nurse: an RCare Alexa case study

The Problem

Your resident experiences an emergency, but isn’t wearing a pendant. How would you know? How do they call for help?

Jon Scott Williams, Executive Director of Fellowship Square-Mesa is familiar with this issue. “Until they’ve experienced their first crisis, our residents aren’t always as diligent about wearing the pendants as we would like them to be.”

The Solution

A touchless and pendant-free nurse call option: Voice Commands

During an emergency, residents may not be able to reach a pull cord or press a pendant button. The problem can be even greater for low-vision residents. RCare’s Alexa integration allows residents a touchless and pendant-free solution to verbally request help, using the simple command: “Alexa, tell my nurse I need help.”

The command “Alexa, tell my nurse to check in” can be used for daily check-in. Voice commands can be helpful for staff, too. Hands-on caregivers can verbally request emergency backup or dismiss/silence alerts for the incident without ever taking their eyes off the resident. This helps to communicate to others that the call has been addressed.

With RCare Mobile, caregivers can speak directly with residents, assess the emergency and assure them that help is on the way. Caregivers can use this information to bring the right supplies and proactively request back-up support if needed. Caregiver calls are automatically answered by the patient’s in-room communicator, so the resident doesn’t need to do or touch anything to talk. The outcome? Faster response times, better resident satisfaction, and more efficient and effective care.

Sending Help Where It’s Needed

What if a resident experiences a crisis outside of their room? How will you find them when they need help? RCare’s advanced locating protocol (ALP) pinpoints and sends the location of the call with every alert. Caregivers know which floor, and exactly where on the floor, the call came from. When minutes matter, there are no wasted trips to the resident’s room when the resident is elsewhere in the community.

Fellowship Square-Mesa

An early adopter of Amazon Alexa for its residents, Fellowship Square-Mesa is a 385-bed senior community in Arizona, offering care across the continuum, including low-income assisted living. The community installed an Amazon Alexa Dot in every residence, to provide residents with an easy-to-use voice technology to request concierge services, look up information, find out about the daily activities schedule and menu, to schedule appointments, and to request help through their RCare nurse call system.

Keep Hotel Employees Safe in the Workplace

Keep Hotel Employees Safe in the Workplace

This summer, the city of Sacramento passed legislation requiring hotels to provide panic buttons to help keep hotel employees safe. The city follows on the heels of the surrounding county, which earlier passed such legislation for hotels in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Numerous housekeepers from Sacramento hotels appeared before the legislature to tell their stories. In one case, a man had started stalking a housekeeper as she cleaned. Each time she would leave a room, he was there, waiting for her. To escape him, she locked herself into a guest room and called security, before she could carry on working. In another story, a male guest requested that a housekeeper bring him a bottle of mouthwash. When she arrived at the room, he didn’t answer her knock, although she knocked three times, as required by hotel policy. When she entered the room, she found him waiting to expose himself to her. She dropped the bottle of mouthwash and fled, according to an account in The Sacramento Bee.

How common is the problem? A survey of nearly 500 women working at hotels and casinos in the Chicago area found that 58% of hotel workers had experienced some type of sexual harassment by guests, sometimes multiple times, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

Sacramento joins a growing list of cities, states, and unions that are requiring these safety devices for vulnerable hotel employees. And, California is currently considering legislation to expand protection to workers in hotels throughout the state.

“No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry,” said Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International.

When confronted with a threatening situation, panic buttons allow the worker to simply press a button. The button sends an alert to on-site security, who can intervene.

In order for the panic buttons to be effective, they need to provide help quickly. The alerts need to be sent immediately, and the response to the alert must be quick. Knowing the location of the employee who made the call, so that assistance can be sent to the right place, is critical to rapid response, according to hotel security expert Einar Rosenberg. It is also a difficult feature to find in hotel duress systems.

One system that has locating capability, along with proven reliability, is the Hospitality Suite by RCare, Inc. In addition to its alerting features, the system also provides response time data, to help hotels monitor and improve response times to employee emergencies.

RCare ensures reliability for sent and received alerts with their military-grade RF, a signal protocol proven to be far more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth. And it has a wide listening range, even in the oldest buildings with challenging infrastructure.

“This is about expressing how we at the local level value the protection of women in the workplace,” said Sacramento county supervisor Phil Serna

When it comes to keeping hotel employees safe in the workplace, you can count on RCare’s wireless ALP Hospitality Suite.

Contact RCare to find out how they can enhance the safety and security for your hospitality staff.

Keep Hotel Housekeepers Safe Without Breaking the Bank

Keep Hotel Housekeepers Safe Without Breaking the Bank

Housekeepers provide a critical and demanding service for hotels. Their tasks are varied and can be physically challenging. They typically work alone, cleaning vacant rooms, bringing fresh towels, or making up the beds while guests are away. Hotel housekeepers put in a hard day’s work, every day. If you ask them about the biggest job negatives, though, they’ll tell you it’s not the cleaning. It’s being harassed or even assaulted by a guest.

“No one should ever be fearful doing their job, least of all associates on-property who are so vital to the success of our company and our industry,” said Arne Sorenson, CEO of Marriott International.  

Yet, according to the Chicago Tribune, a survey of nearly 500 women working at hotels and casinos in the Chicago area found that 58% of hotel workers had experienced some type of sexual harassment by guests.

The good news is that the situation is changing for the better. Cities like Seattle and Chicago have passed staff safety laws requiring hotels to supply panic and duress buttons for their employees. Other cities and even states aren’t far behind. New Jersey was the first state to pass a state-wide law. The heads of the major hotel chains Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG and Wyndham announced plans to give alert devices to any employees who work alone or in isolated situations throughout their hotels.

How do you create a good hotel duress system? You ask an expert. For 15 years, RCare has been creating the most advanced nurse call and emergency alert systems in the industry. They combined their reliable and tested technology with their advances in improved response times to create the RCare Hospitality Alert Suite.

Simply put, hotel employees need to be able to summon help immediately and easily, no matter where they are. With RCare, they can wear a crisis button on their wrist or on a lanyard and know that when pressed, help will be on the way. Of course in an emergency time is of the essence.

How do you know where exactly to send the help? RCare’s pendants can tell you exactly where the person is located with the Advanced Locating Protocol (ALP). Each alert sends information identifying who pressed the button, and exactly where the call came from (floor and location).

RCare ensures reliability for sent and received alerts with their military-grade RF, a signal protocol proven to be far more reliable than WiFi or Bluetooth. And it has a wide listening range, even in the oldest buildings with challenging infrastructure.

Although these devices are intended for personal protection, they can come in handy in other crises as well. In Seattle, a group of employees used a button to get help when they were trapped in an elevator. They’ve also been used to call for help quickly when a staff member had an injury.

In case of an emergency, you want to ensure that everyone in your building feels protected and safe. RCare’s wireless ALP Hospitality Suite can help.

Want to know more? Contact RCare today.

RCare Offers New eCall Program for Affordable Housing

RCare Offers New eCall Program for Affordable Housing

RCare, maker of advanced wireless nurse call systems, recently announced the addition of a new low-cost eCall Program designed for providers of affordable housing for low-income seniors. This eCall Program is a testament to the company’s mission of improving the quality of care for all seniors, regardless of financial status.

The new RCare eCall Program for Affordable Housing offers the critical capabilities of RCare’s flagship wireless nurse call technologies, for a fraction of the cost. The RCare eCall system will offer savings to affordable housing providers in several ways, including an extremely low cost of entry, minimal hardware to maintain, lowered on-going fees, and requiring only one internet connection for the entire eCall system.

“If you run an affordable senior housing community, you need to talk to us. We can save you money.”

The purpose of RCare’s affordable eCall Program is to provide the very best of nurse call capabilities to America’s lower income seniors, according to RCare CEO, Myron Kowal. “RCare is always looking for ways to offer our comprehensive features at a more competitive price point, especially to those who can’t afford all the bells and whistles,” said Kowal. “If you run an affordable senior housing community, you need to talk to us. We can save you money.”

The RCare eCall Program is simple to install, with one small wall-based touchscreen server and one pendant for each resident. If the building has an existing internet connection, that will be sufficient for the entire RCare eCall Program. No landlines are required. When a resident presses the pendant, the RCare panel will notify the call center, who will assess the situation directly and determine further actions.

RCare has had a busy year of progress and innovations including the announcement of an Amazon Alexa skill, their iOS app launch for RCare Mobile, and RCare’s integration with PointClickCare. RCare was recently nominated for two mobile caregiving awards for “Best of 2018” Mobile Star Awards.

Find out more about RCare. www.rcareinc.com or 585-671-4144.

RCare Selected for Exclusive Innovation Forum in California

RCare Selected for Exclusive Innovation Forum in California

RCare and the Senior Living Innovation Forum 2018RCare is heading to California in June to be part of the exclusive Senior Living Innovation Forum. Billed as “the retreat for senior living providers that want to disrupt the status quo,” this invitation-only event showcases the nation’s premier providers, who are “leveraging bold and creative thinking to deliver engaging and distinctive care environments.” RCare is honored to be included in this prestigious group.

As you know, the population of Americans aged 65 years or older will double over the next 20 years. This is both an unprecedented challenge and an unprecedented opportunity. At the Senior Living Innovation Forum, providers will be challenged to re-imagine their operations, as business as usual will not suffice.

RCare RMetrix and the Senior Living Innovation Forum

RCare is here to help. We will be showcasing the new RMetrix Enterprise. This reporting and analytics tool puts powerful data in the hands of administrators. Organizations with multiple senior communities can now easily compare performance across all sites. This online dashboard and reporting suite gives senior executives a numerical baseline to support their cross-community initiatives. The communities win by having best-practices easily shared across communities and more importantly, residents win by getting better care.

RCare Integrations and the Senior Living Innovation ForumAnd that’s not all. You may already know that RCare integrates with industry-leading EHR PointClickCare. That’s just smart, because communities that use both systems gain big efficiency benefits. You enter resident data once. Information from PCC automatically populates your RCare nurse call database. When residents change rooms, their data goes with them. That means your staff save data entry time, and your caregivers are always working accurate resident information. Did you also know that RCare is integrated with AccuTech‘s fantastic wander management system? And now, with Foresite’s amazing Eldercare, as well. ElderCare is a community-wide monitoring system that helps prevent health problems before they occur. RCare helps you get the maximum efficiencies and benefits from all of your systems.

At the Senior Living Innovation Forum, industry leaders will have three days of cutting-edge content, and one-on-one meetings with the industry’s leading service providers. They’ll leave with the knowledge and partners necessary to remain competitive during these transformative times. RCare gives you the tools you need to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Senior Living Innovation Forum
June 10 – 12, 2018
Silverado Resort and Spa
1600 Atlas Peak Rd
Napa Valley, CA 94558
More Info

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