Tag Archive for: Nurse Call System

Disaster planning for nurse call systems

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen – wildfires, hurricanes, and even global pandemics. And the year is only half over. “Be prepared” is not just a motto for scouting. Knock on wood, your community or healthcare facility won’t need to evacuate suddenly, or to expand quickly to handle a surge in patients. But it never hurts to be prepared, to be ready to protect your residents and to make sure operations and care can return to normal as quickly as possible. In fact, Federal law requires that Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities have written plans and procedures to meet all potential emergencies.

If you haven’t been thinking about your community’s emergency preparation plan, let the events of this year be the nudge you needed to get started. And as you’re creating your plan, here are five helpful tips to make your plan more effective.

Disaster Planning Tips

  1. Data Backup: Start by assuming that every technology system in use in your facility is built on a database that stores important data, such as patient information and incident information. If you were to lose your system to a disaster, would you lose all your data history? Your answer should be no. All data for all your systems should be backed up regularly and stored safely offsite, to be ready for you should you need it.
  1. Data Restore: Just as important as backing up the data is restoring it. If faced with a hardware or system failure for any reason, can you restore and make use of your data again? It’s important to schedule periodic tests to be sure that backups have been done successfully, with no data corruption, that restored data is accessible, usable, and that you are able to restore the data  and resume operations quickly.
  1. Hardware Backup: With your data safely secured, it’s important to have a plan for replacing your hardware quickly. whether it’s due to a normal hardware failure, or a flood or fire or other disaster. Be sure to have a source for the equipment that can ship quickly. In the midst of an emergency, you can’t be waiting weeks for back-ordered equipment. Be sure your plan includes a complete list of critical hardware to replace. And be sure that your systems, and your backed up system data, are compatible with your new replacement equipment.
  1. Peripherals: In addition to the system server, many systems have peripheral devices used by caregivers such as printers, phones, and monitor screens, as well as resident or patient devices, such as pendants and pull cords. When you’re recovering from an equipment failure, the biggest time investment will likely be inputting the settings for the peripherals, to reconnect them to the system. Strategize now about the best way to input or restore device settings as efficiently as possible, to get the system back to work. At the minimum, keep a hard copy of your plans and settings, and store it safely to be sure it’s available should it be necessary to rebuild your systems. Better yet, can the settings be backed up and restored like other data? Whatever you decide, don’t overlook this critical piece of your recovery plan.
  1. Temporary Solutions: Another consideration is having a stop-gap solution that you can swap into place in the short-term, while you wait for your systems to be restored to their normal functioning. Even in a crisis, your residents need to be equipped with an emergency call device. If you need to relocate your operations to another facility, or to expand temporarily into another location, a portable or stripped down system may be necessary to help you continue to provide care.

If this year has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen.

How RCare can Help

RCare is a global provider of wireless nurse call and personal emergency response systems for the entire spectrum of eldercare and senior living. We’ve given a lot of thought to disaster preparation and recovery, because we know your call light system is critically important for the health and safety of your residents.

Rapid Deployment Kit – Portable Nurse Call System

Our Rapid Deployment Kit is a portable nurse call systems in a box, designed to be installed quickly, even outside of normal healthcare environments. It’s a temporary nurse call solution that has been employed nationwide by health systems to create temporary field hospitals to care for the surge of COVID patients. It’s quick to deploy, quick to take down, and easy to store. And it can help you be prepared in the event of an emergency. Learn more about RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit.

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Service for RCare’s Nurse Call Systems

RCare’s Data Backup and Disaster Recovery service minimizes disruption of service and recovery costs for our clients. It provides regular software backups, with data securely stored offsite. It also provides hardware protection, with a quick replacement of your RCare nurse call system hardware, no matter what the reason, with the replacement guaranteed to be compatible. System and device settings are also backed up, so that peripherals can be put back into use quickly and reliably. Learn more about RCare’s Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Program.

You can count on RCare every day to provide excellent, reliable nurse call capabilities for your community. And when the chips are down, you can count on RCare to help you provide the best possible care.

Find out more about how RCare’s Data Backup and Disaster Recovery Service and RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit can help you protect your organization.

emergency nurse call system

Nurse call systems for emergency situations: RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit is a portable nurse call system in a box. Designed for ease-of-use, it’s quick to deploy and ready to use in a crisis.

The numbers of infected patients continues to rise, and hospitals in hard-hit areas are being forced to expand rapidly and efficiently. RCare can help. Our staff have been working hard, assembling Rapid Deployment Nurse Call Systems Kits. These kits provide effective, reliable nurse call communications between patients and caregivers, and between equipment and caregivers, even in non-healthcare, field operations environments.

These plug-and-play nurse call systems are preprogrammed by RCare’s expert technicians and ready for use immediately out of the box. They include one small touchscreen server, one pendant for each resident or patient, and four pagers. Expansion kits are available. Only one internet connection is required, and no landlines are necessary.

“Our mission here is to help win this war.” – Myron Kowal, RCare founder and CEO

Designed for speed of implementation, and ease-of-use in a pandemic, a natural disaster, or other emergency situations, RCare’s Rapid Deployment Kit installs in only five minutes and offers a reliable, secure nurse call systems in a box. RCare’s G4 platform provides best-in-class range to cover even the largest of campuses and deepen building penetration. UL 1069 certified nurse call systems available NOW. Contact RCare to find out more.

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

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.