When AnglicareSA was looking for a new nurse call system, a key criteria was that the new solution would promote mobility and independence for residents, while simultaneously maximising their safety. Enhancing the customer experience was a primary focus. It’s a balancing act that few can achieve. Many nurse call systems, for instance, are static and rigid, with alerts going from fixed points in residents’ rooms to centralised nursing stations or PCs. This can not only inhibit residents’ mobility, it can also lead to unnecessary walking for caregivers and inefficient workflows.
"We believe that the environment should not have to adjust to fit the technology, rather, technology should adjust to the environment.”
Jacinta Robertson Head of Residential Aged Care at AnglicareSA
Ascom, however, was able to meet AnglicareSA’s demand by combining various elements from the Ascom Healthcare Platform, the company’s portfolio of healthcare communications hardware, software, and services. For AnglicareSA, the solution involves residents wearing wireless transceivers (either as pendants or wristbands) which they can use to communicate alerts or requests while on the move. Alerts from the residents’ transceivers go directly to mobile caregivers’ Ascom Myco smartphones. Caregivers can see the nature and priority of each alert on their device and can easily re-route alerts to colleagues if unable to respond.
Such integrated mobility gives the Ascom solution the user-oriented flexibility demanded by AnglicareSA. “We believe that the environment should not have to adjust to fit the technology,” says Jacinta Robertson, Head of Residential Aged Care at AnglicareSA, “rather, technology should adjust to the environment.” An example of this is the ‘wander control’ functionality available with the Ascom transceivers. This function automatically sends alerts to predetermined recipients should at-risk residents attempt to leave or approach specified zones (selected doors, exits, windows, etc.).
Streamlining workflows, harvesting data, and metrics
Technical software and hardware is only part of the Ascom solution for AnglicareSA. Before designing and installing the solution, Ascom workflow specialists identified where and how technology might best help AnglicareSA achieve and maintain its care objectives. But the deep cooperation between the two didn’t end once the solution was commissioned. “Working with Ascom,” says Robertson, “helped ensure the new solution and workflows are used correctly. And continuing client consultations will go a long way towards helping to improve back-end support and frontline care management.”
The new Ascom solution also provides AnglicareSA with the data and metrics necessary for ongoing optimisation and assessment. Key data such as response times, performance issues, call histories, and alert logs are automatically harvested and made available to AnglicareSA staff. Moreover, the modular nature of solutions from the Ascom Healthcare Platform makes it easy for organisations such as AnglicareSA to expand and adapt them to meet changing conditions and goals.
What do residents think?
Residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with the nurse call system and the general care level before and after the implementation of the Ascom solution.
Initial evaluation of the new systems was extremely positive with customer satisfaction with call bell response increased by 30%. This outcome led to a correlating 20% improved satisfaction of care provision.
Qualitative data included feedback from staff and customers who were asked, what are the best things about the new call bell system?