RCare News & Blog

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

Fun in the Sun, RCare Shines at Argentum 2018 at Beach Blanket Booth 606!

Fun in the Sun, RCare Shines at Argentum 2018 at Beach Blanket Booth 606!

Life’s a beach with RCare at the Argentum 2018 show. That’s right, grab your beach blankets and join RCare’s Booth Beach Party, with groovy gifts, far-out, free flip flops, and some fun in the RCare sun.

Listen up, all you guys and gals – join us at Booth 606, where we’re going to party like it’s 1969. We’ve got some beachy prizes and the best wireless nurse call system. We promise you’ll find it totally neat-o!

Join RCare's Beach Party at Argentum 2018You probably already know that we at RCare are known for our innovations and technologies in wireless nurse call systems. And why do you suppose that is? It’s because that’s our primary focus. Creating the most innovative and advanced wireless nurse call technology is the only thing we do, and that’s why we do it best!

When it comes to HIPAA security, when it comes to QAPI tools, when it comes to being fully integratable with leading technologies like PointClickCare, Accutech, GrandCare and even Alexa, RCare is leading the way! When it comes to proprietary advanced resident locating technology, to multi-feature wearables, to powerful, efficient, mobile caregiving tools, RCare is the bee’s knees!

We want to invite you to join us at our beach blanket Booth 606 at Argentum.

So, if you’re in San Diego, grab your surfboard and stop by Booth 606 for some fun in the sun with RCare. Play Flip the Flop for a chance at great prizes, including a Yeti Roadie Cooler. And then, take a few minutes to find out more about RCare’s powerful nurse call systems, and what we can do for your community.

Learn about the GeoPendant, a push-button PERS that comes with advanced locating power to tell you where the call originated. Use it to set safe zones, and receive alerts when seniors move beyond their safe zone. Take a look at the Rugged RPhone, which puts HIPAA-compliant mobile technology in the hands of your caregivers. Detailed resident data. Voice-to-voice communication between staff and residents, and staff an other staff. It lets your caregivers claim calls, increasing accountability, decreasing response times, and eliminating unanswered calls. Find out how the powerful RMetrix reporting package can empower your QAPI program.

At Argentum 2018, RCare may be having a little fun in the sun, but when it comes to empowering your caregivers, we’re completely serious.

We’ll see you at Argentum. (Don’t forget your shades!)

Argentum 2018 Senior Living Executive Conference 2018
May 14-16, 2018
San Diego Convention Center
111 Harbor Drive, San Diego
Twitter: @Argentum
Facebook: @ArgentumSeniorLiving

Booth 606
Twitter: @ResponseCare
Facebook: @RCareInc
Web: www.rcareinc.com

Rise Up. Change Starts with RCare – and some hot QAPI – at the Eden Alternative International Conference

Rise Up. Change Starts with RCare – and some hot QAPI – at the Eden Alternative International Conference

RCare's GeoPendant and The Eden AlternativeAt RCare, we are not only proud to be the maker of the most advanced wireless nurse call and monitoring systems in the world, but we are also honored to be a member of the Eden Alternative initiative. In fact, we’ve been selected to showcase our products at this dynamic and passionate event in May.

The Eden Alternative International Conference challenges us to change the way we think about providing care to our elder population. It challenges us to develop innovative approaches to genuinely person-centered care. The Eden Alternative philosophy asserts that as we age, we do not go into a decline, but rather we enter another stage of learning and growing. Based upon this, EA caregivers learn that the caregiving process is not just a one-way arrangement, but rather it’s a collaborative partnership.

RCare’s mission is to improve the lives of elders and those who care for them. Our innovations are designed with the resident at the center, while providing helpful and user-friendly technologies that make the environment more comfortable and pleasant–and that ultimately lead to better outcomes. Every community is different, and RCare takes the time to understand the unique resident needs, caregiving process, and other issues, to build customized solutions that last.

A Quieter Approach

Recently, CMS issued restrictions on loud bed and chair alarms, classifying them as a “restraint.” There are many good reasons for this regulation. Communities and senior advocates are increasingly drawing attention to the indignity of these loud alarms. They disrupt sleep. They disrupt daily life. They embarrass elders unlucky enough to trigger them. Worse, they may immobilize them when the elders begin to avoid activities that risk triggering an alarm. And, like the boy who cried wolf, frequent alarms tend to get tuned out, which could put elders at risk.

RCare’s alerts are quiet and discreet. Whether an elder pulls a cord, pushes a button, or leaves a safe zone, the alerts are sent directly to the care staff. Calls are “claimed” by a caregiver using the “I got it” button on the RPhone, ensuring that every call is answered without duplication of effort.

In addition to bed and chair sensors, the RCare system integrates with motion sensors, contact sensors, and passive environmental sensors to detect unsafe room temperatures, refrigerator temperatures, and water overflows. And, of course, the system integrates with a full range of elder-activated devices such as push-button pendants, pull cords, and the like.

Setting Safe Zones with the GeoPendant

With RCare’s new GeoPendant, you can set safe zones for residents who need them, so care staff are discreetly alerted if and when particular residents move outside their designated safe area, without embarrassing alarms. Like everyone else, elders value their independence and RCare GeoPendant at the Eden Alternative International Conferencedignity. Moving to a locked ward is a big step that should only be taken as a last resort. For many, the GeoPendant can now be a better option. Elders wearing the GeoPendant are free to go about their day within an area defined as safe for them. The only time their movements are brought to anyone’s attention is if they move outside their personalized safe zone.

Each call made contributes to an incident record that helps staff tailor a plan of care for each resident. This record helps staff and families know when the situation has changed, and the care plan needs to change. It keeps a record of the the resident/care staff interaction, too, which is critical for elder-centered care and quality.

Powerful Data

RCare’s RMetrix reporting module has been redesigned to provide stronger tools to communities initiating and managing Quality Assurance and Performance Improvemenet (QAPI) and other quality programs. WIth RMetrix, you can measure important information about calls, such as call volume, frequent callers, and response times, that will help you improve the experience of elders and their families, and staff work loads. For communities with multiple facilities, Enterprise RMetrix provides a dashboard that makes it easy to compare facilities on key metrics, by day, month or quarter. RMetrix gives administrators the kind of reporting that turns data into insight, and insight into action.

Join RCare as we RISE UP at the Eden Alternative Conference. Together we are changing the nature of elder care, making it more collaborative, more dignified, and more satisfying.

Eden Alternative International Conference
May 3-5, 2018
The Westin Buckhead Atlanta
3391 Peachtree Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
Twitter – event: @edenalt  RCare: @ResponseCare
Facebook – event: @theedenalternative  RCare: @RCareInc

3 Ways RCare Can Help You Strengthen Your QAPI Program

3 Ways RCare Can Help You Strengthen Your QAPI Program

Is your nurse call system helping your QAPI efforts?
It should be.

Quality Assurance, and Performance Improvement are on everyone’s minds these days. Because of the new CMS regulations, QAPI is the latest watchword in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities across the country. No doubt your senior community already has an implementation strategy in place for moving forward. But here’s something you may not have realized: Your nurse call system can play an important role in the success of your QAPI program.

RCare is the global provider of advanced, wireless nurse call systems. We’ve designed our nurse call systems to give you the tools you need for your QAPI program. Why are so many communities overlooking the value of nurse call systems for QAPI? It might be because they’re not using RCare.

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement
1. Caregiver response data. When a resident pulls a cord or pushes a button on their PERS pendant, your caregiving staff responds. It’s one of many services provided in your senior community. And like all other services, it is subject to QAPI. You not only need to know that you’re meeting regulatory minimums of care, you also need hard data to identify ways to improve–even if you’re already doing a good job. RCare provides this data, including response times, call volumes, shift-by-shift comparisons, and even which services are most often provided at the point of care. This data can be key in setting baselines, in planning new ways to improve, and in measuring the effectiveness of changes.

2. Resident call data. Who is calling most frequently? How often do they call, and at what time of day or night? What services are performed? QAPI requires that you look for how things are going routinely. It also requires that you investigate your outliers. Are there needs that aren’t being met well in your facility? Are there individuals who need a change in care plan? What does your data show? With RCare, you’ll know.

3. Environmental response data. Not all calls are triggered by a request from a resident. It’s important to keep tabs on the safety and comfort of the resident’s environment as well. Are your refrigerators keeping food and meds at a safe temperature around the clock? RCare’s refrigerator sensors record data continuously, and alert the staff if the temperature slips out of range. Is a resident having a restless night? RCare’s motion sensors can let you know if there’s unexpected movement in the middle of the night. Did a tub overflow? RCare’s water sensor alerts staff, who can intervene, often before the resident even knows there’s a problem. Integrated right into RCare’s nurse call system, every alert is sent quietly and discreetly. With the “I got it” feature, caregivers can now claim calls avoiding duplication and negligence concerns.

In your job, there’s a lot expected of you. You should expect a lot from your nurse call system. RCare offers the most advanced wireless nurse call technology, for large or small facilities. RCare wants to join efforts and support you as you develop your QAPI program.

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