Best Little Nurse Call System

That is not the question. The question is When?

It’s your first week on the job for a small caregiving staff at a 50-bed skilled nursing community. The intimate and family-like feeling of the community is what drew you in to begin with. And so far, you have met almost all of the residents and you like the small team of carers that you work with.

RPhone for the BCube has the I Got It Feature

The RPhone, with its unique “I Got It” feature

But, there is one thing that is frustrating to you. When multiple calls come in from residents, you are given no information on what to expect, what to bring and how urgent it is. On this Saturday evening, you receive two calls within minutes of each other, from Rooms 101 and 134. It could be a fall, a request for help to get out of bed or just someone needing a glass of water. The readout on the caregivers’ pagers simply shows the time of the call with a room number. You wonder whether someone is already handling the calls or perhaps most importantly, which resident do you prioritize to check on first?

The problem is that you need some more information to properly prioritize the calls. But you just don’t have it. You don’t know if it’s an emergency, or the resident history, or what to bring along, or if they happen to have allergies you should know about. You’re stuck in an impossible situation. You know you can’t possibly provide the best care without having the facts. So what to do?

Well the call from Room 101 came in first, so that’s the one you answer. But, your coworker is also there when you get there. Turns out Ruth accidentally pressed the button. Now two of you have responded to this non-emergency situation simultaneously, while Henry in Room 134 has slipped in the bathroom, is extremely frightened, and nobody is there to assist him.

RCare's Pretty Pretty Pendant and the BCube

Pretty Pretty Pendants work with any RCare nurse call system, including the new BCube for small facilities

If you work in a larger facility, you may have the benefit of a high-tech call system that can help you sort that all out. High-end advanced nurse call systems, like RCare’s flagship solution called the RCube, sends you all of the information you need to various communication devices, lighting platforms or even to nurse call console stations. Communities can go one step better and use secured, encrypted mobile devices such as the RCare RPhone to securely receive all information and have two-way communication between the caregiving staff, administration and even to the residents.

You can talk to the resident, gauge the situation, bring the correct supplies, reassure that you’re on the way, and prioritize. These RPhones also allow caregiving staff to claim responsibility using the “I Got it” feature, informing the rest of the staff that you’re responding to this call, eliminating duplicate efforts and ensuring accountability.

Around half of all skilled nursing facilities in the U.S. have fewer than 120 beds. That’s a lot of hard-working, compassionate caregivers who have inadequate tools to provide care, and a lot of seniors who don’t benefit from new caregiving technology and improved response times.  

But because you work in a smaller facility, you simply don’t have this kind of high end technology. Instead, you are stuck with a low-information nurse call system that gives you beeping pagers and loud intercom messages. It’s really not fair to your residents and to the caregivers striving to provide top-notch quality care. So, If the technology is available, why don’t smaller facilities use it? It’s because high-end, advanced nurse call technology is simply unaffordable for small campuses.

Well, that is until now.

Introducing the RCare BCube: Best Little Nurse Call System Ever. Designed, customized and scaled for the smallest skilled and assisted living communities, with all of the features of the big time advanced nurse call systems, at a fraction of the price. Now, even the smallest senior living communities can afford to have the best nurse call technology for their staff and their residents.

So to BCube or not to BCube?

That’s never been the question. The real question is, how soon can I get it installed?

The RCare BCube. All the monitoring, communication and reporting features of our large flagship RCare advanced nurse call system, scaled and priced for a smaller facility.

alternative to loud alarms for senior housing

RCare is not only proud to be the maker of the most advanced wireless nurse call and advanced monitoring systems in the world, but we’re also honored to be a member and advocate of the Eden Alternative initiative.

What is The Eden Alternative? It’s a non-profit dedicated to improving the quality of life for elders and their care partners. “In a culture that typically views aging as a period of decline, the Eden Alternative philosophy asserts that no matter how old we are or what challenges we live with, life is about continuing to grow. Building on this new paradigm, it affirms that care is not a one-way street, but rather a collaborative partnership.”

RCare's GeoPendant and The Eden AlternativeThat’s one of the many reasons that RCare supports The Eden Alternative. RCare’s mission is to improve the lives of elders and those who care for them. We’ve been diligently working at this mission since our founding in 2006, and our innovations in user-friendly, easy-to-learn technology have allowed us to help more and more elders and caregivers every year. We take the time to understand caregiving and the unique issues facing each community to build customized solutions that last.

One of our latest innovations, the GeoPendant, is an example of our commitment to the quality of life of elders and carers. An attractive pendant that can be worn on a neck loop or on the wrist, the GeoPendant’s first function is that of a PERS pendant. But the GeoPendant does a lot more. It lets caregivers define geographical safe zones for elders who need them. Should the elder leave that safe zone, the care staff receive an alert so that they can discreetly intervene.

Like everyone else, elders value their independence and dignity. Moving to a locked ward is a big step that should only be taken when there is no other option. For many, the GeoPendant can now be that other 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.

This is especially useful with so called “mixed populations.” One does not develop a need for a locked memory care unit overnight. These needs arise slowly over time. This means that there are people who may need moderate wander management who live in completely open communities alongside many who do not need such assistance. With the GeoPendant, only those elders who need this type of care receive it, and they do so discreetly, without embarrassing sirens or alarms ringing through the hallways.

One of the truly innovative features of the GeoPendant is that it doesn’t use GPS. Instead, it uses the existing RCare equipment placed throughout the community to determine if you are, or are not, where it’s safe for you to be. Also, safe zones are not just defined in terms of horizontal area, but also vertically, for example by floor. This is because the device utilizes artificial intelligence. During setup it is taught where the safe zone is for a particular resident. The elder’s zone can be highly specific, even singling out precise rooms and corridors for in/exclusion.

GeoPendants are integrated into the wider RCare nurse call system, meaning staff won’t have multiple systems to monitor. If an elder moves out of a safe zone, the alert is sent to the high-powered nurse call system. Care staff receive the alerts on their HIPAA-compliant RPhone mobile handsets, just like any other nurse call.

Alternative to Loud AlarmsCommunities and senior advocates are increasingly drawing attention to the indignity of noisy alarms. They disrupt sleep. They disrupt daily life. They embarrass elders unlucky enough to trigger them. Worse, they may immobilize them, if the elders 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 all quiet. Whether an elder pulls a cord, pushes a button, or leaves a safe zone, the alerts are sent silently to the care staff. Calls are “claimed” by a caregiver using the “I got it” button on the RPhone, ensuring that everyone’s call is answered, without carers duplicating their efforts.

Because the GeoPendant is a personal emergency response system as well as a location minder, elders who need both don’t need to carry two devices. In addition to discreetly safeguarding their whereabouts, the push button can be used to summon help at any time.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are currently 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2050, that number could be as high as 16 million. By mid-century, someone in the United States will develop the disease every 33 seconds.”

Dr. G. Allen Power is a physician and a senior advocate. In his book, Dementia Beyond Drugs:
Changing the Culture of Care, he argues that “care environments are often designed around the needs of the carers, rather than those with dementia.” This is an issue that The Eden Alternative is addressing. It’s important that both parties in the care partnership are respected and honored.

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia doesn’t need to trigger an immediate loss of independence, even when it’s an effort to keep elders safe. The Eden Alternative challenges us to strive to enhance the well-being of elders by eliminating the three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. RCare has accepted that challenge, and one outcome is the GeoPendant, designed to help elders live happier, more independent, more dignified lives. And at the same time, RCare is helping caregivers offer the best, most advanced care. For a small device, the GeoPendant is having a very big impact on the lives of elders and their care partners.

With each passing year, technology is playing a more significant role in improving and enhancing the lives of our aging population. Not only do these devices combat isolation and depression by increasing communication, they also enable loved ones to regain their independence. At RCare, we believe in holistic senior empowerment, and we feel technology plays a critical role. We have come up with four vital segments of technology to provide seniors with the most bang for their buck.

  • Wireless Internet Access

Wireless Internet (or WiFi) has arguably become as essential to any  american household as running water or electricity. Everything can be accessed online or through a smartphone “app”, eliminating the need for a stationary personal computer at all.  Many family and friend communications, photo sharing and information exchanges happen on websites and social media networks.   Not to mention, many remote monitoring and alert services (think alarm, security and pendants) rely on WiFi connectivity. Without wireless Internet access, our senior population may feel disconnected and disengaged with the world around them.

  • Socialization Platforms, Smartphones & Tablets

Now that we’ve done away with the traditional stationary computer, adding a tablet, simplified communication device or smartphone into the residence of a senior is a great way to reconnect. Seniors can listen to music, read books, play cards, view photos, track their health, and even play games to promote brain health.  Choices range from your typical iPad/Samsung tablet manufacturers to devices specifically targeted to connect and engage seniors with their family and caregivers (e.g. www.grandcare.com)  Wow!

  • Wireless Remote Monitoring

For seniors wishing to secure more independence, wireless remote monitoring and crisis management systems like RCare can really save lives. Technologies ranging from motion detectors to door sensors to push pendants can monitor the activity patterns for signs of an emergency, without violating privacy.

  • G4 Advanced Locating Protocol

For a patient who may have wandering tendencies or memory loss, wearing a advanced location pendant and push button can be essential. While other systems may only give caregivers a general idea of a pushed pendant location, RCare allows care facilities to pinpoint nearly the exact location, and in a fraction of the time.

Want to learn more about the technology options available for Senior Housing? Contact us to learn more about what we do, or read through our FAQs and client testimonials.

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.

Join RCare at 2019 LeadingAge

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

Emergency Pendants For SeniorsMy mom isn’t vain, but she does take pride in her appearance. She always has. It never occurred to me that one day it might put her in danger.

Even though she lives in an independent living 65+ community, I still  worry about her. When she started having dizzy spells I took her to the doctor and they adjusted her blood pressure medication. But I wanted her to have one of those push button things, too. You know, the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” buttons. I wanted to know that if she fell or had a problem, all she needed to do was push a button and help would be on the way. So I spoke to the people running the community. Turns out, they do have such buttons and I arranged for Mom to get one.  

The problem was getting her to wear it. At first I thought it was just forgetfulness, but it was limited to this one issue. Every time I picked her up for lunch or dropped in for a visit, she never had it on. When I reminded her, she would apologize and go put it on. But the next time I saw her it would be the same: She didn’t have it on.

That’s when it hit me. Mom wasn’t wearing it because she didn’t like how it looked. And who could blame her? It really was kind of ugly. And it must have felt like wearing a sign that reads “I’m old and frail.” But I kept telling her that if she doesn’t wear it, it won’t do her any good. She seemed to be far less worried than I.

I didn’t know what to do. I felt scared and worried. If mom refused this, I thought about switching her level of care, which she would not like and would be very expensive. So, one last time I went back to the staff and asked for their recommendation. Their response was amazing. Turns out they’d just received new push button pendants from RCare called Pretty Pretty Pendants. They said it might be just right for mom. When I saw them, I had to agree. They looked like they were designed for my mom. They are fully functioning push-button pendants, but the design is sleek, flawless and beautiful, elegant enough to wear as a necklace.

As I suspected I presented the necklace to mom and she loved it. She instantly put it on and it looked amazing, like she does. She wears it with pride, knowing she looks great and I feel great knowing there is that extra safety net.  

Now when I go visit her it’s always on. Every time. Thank you RCare. Pretty Pretty Pendants are pretty great!

RMan from 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

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.

May 9, 2016 Rochester, NYRCare, a leader in innovative nurse call systems, announced today technical integration with PointClickCare, the leading cloud-based software platform for the senior care continuum.

This integration allows for resident and room information to be seamlessly synchronized between PointClickCare and RCare systems. The PointClickCare platform synchronizes with RCare when residents are admitted, discharged, or transferred, ultimately ensuring better staff coordination and efficiency.

By automating this process, RCare caregivers and administrators can be confident that the latest room information doesn’t need to be double checked. It is already in RCare, and free from data entry errors. When paired with RCare’s Advanced Location Protocol (ALP) technology, facilities can now pinpoint the exact pendant location, including floor number, and quickly associate the exact resident.

“PointClickCare’s electronic health record (EHR) is the industry standard in long­term care,” said Myron Kowal, RCare founder and CEO. “Our mutual customer base  requested this integration to avoid duplicative efforts and data entry time.”

Central to this integration is the fact that RCare is one of the only nurse call systems that has secured HIPAA compliance, verifying that patient data is private, protected and secure. This is critical when working in conjunction with any sort of patient health information.

“As part of our continued focus to ensure we are offering our customers the best tools to help them streamline their processes, we will be implementing RCare Mobile, the most advanced messaging platform. RCare Mobile will give care providers the ability to import time spent for response calls, caregiver and resident interactions, as well as other pertinent details regarding PointClickCare billing.”

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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.

 

[Download not found]
CMOS Battery
ABSTRACT:
There is a specific “Cube down” issue that is rather easy to fix with access to a monitor and keyboard.  For example: power outages, or a Cube is reset that has been working for some time with no issues, and suddenly gets stuck in “Starting Up”.  This bulletin will explain the steps for repairing this issue.
TECH SUMMARY:
 
If you get this “Starting Up….” Screen for more than 5-6 minutes it may be time to get a monitor and keyboard.  These must be separate monitor and keyboard that you can hook up via VGA, PS/2, or USB connection.
1)     Safely Power Down/Remove Power
2)     Plug in Monitor and Keyboard
3)     Power Server back up.  HD Cubes will have button on front
        panel. URack cubes will require technician to hold on Green
        Check mark button to power up cube.
4)     Let Cube attempt to power up.  If Cube gets stuck on failed
        (code seen below, then you have a CMOS battery issue, which
         controls the date and time settings on the server.  The server is
         attempting to load “in the future” because the server thinks its
         set to the year 1900.  This stops the start up process.  It only
         manifests itself after a power cycle.
5)     Hard power cycle the server again and when you see the
        “SUPERMICRO” screen below.  Begin hitting Delete key
        continuously until the screen goes into bios mode.  If you don’t
        hit the key in time, you will need to start back over at step 1.
BIOS SCREEN
1)     This will bring you to the BIOS Screen.  You will automatically
         be at the Main tab where you will see the date and time.
2)     Enter Day, Press Enter
3)     Enter Month, Press enter
4)     Enter Year, Press Enter
5)     Press down key
6)     Enter Hour, Press Enter
7)     Enter Minute, Press Enter
8)     Enter Seconds, Press Enter
9)     Use Right key to move to “Save and Exit Tab”
10)   Use Down key to select “Save Changes and Reset”, Press Enter

11)   Server should reboot properly

Replacing CMOS Battery:

It is a generic CR 2032 Battery dime battery.  It may be in a different location depending on the type of server you have.  Pictured below is an HD Cube.  You will not need to replace the battery to bring it back online.  However, If the server is shut down or rebooted you will have to repeat these steps every time until the battery is properly replaced.

 
CONCLUSION:
At first this may be alarming, especially if it happens in the middle of the night.  But this document can be passed to end users as well.  If the front of the Cube now properly displays the facility name and the monitor is asking for a username, then you have completed boot up.  It is a simple starting up issue related to a dead battery that can easily be replaced to get you going.