Having rapid access to reliable, expert nursing assistance is probably the most important aspect of life in a care home. Residents and their families need to feel confident that medical help is always available in an emergency, as well as for routine medication administration and treatments, care and advice. Nurse call systems allow people in need of medical help to alert their carers straight away. Vital medical support can then be given within the shortest possible timescale.
Thank to advances in technology, wired and wireless nurse call systems have become extremely sophisticated and responsive. They can be fully integrated into wider care home management systems for complete cohesion and immediate connectivity whenever it is required. Other benefits to ‘going digital’ include freeing up carers’ time to spend with residents, as well as streamlining workflow and simplifying nurse call procedures. The system also allows residents and their visitors to alert nursing and care staff to other essential needs, such as water, meals, medication for pain management, help dressing or undressing and assistance with going to the bathroom.
How does nurse call integration work?
Nurse call integration works by automatically registering the resident raising the alarm and the nurse responding. The system records the arrival and departure time of the nurse, so that they don’t have to worry about this part of the call. Residents can also communicate via wrist bands or pendants for added security and support when they are not in bed or within reach of their main nurse call button. This helps to protect residents wherever they are within the care home or its grounds.
The system is adaptable, so that the most appropriate configuration of buttons, pendants and response mechanisms can be put in place. Nurses and carers can even connect to the system via their smart phone and other devices. This does away with the need for additional pagers, or having to stay close to a nurses’ station in order to hear alerts. Notes can also be added to the system in one place, which will automatically be added to the resident’s records for full accountability and record-keeping.
Additionally, an integrated nurse call system ensures that alerts are responded to, so that smaller incidents do not escalate through unnecessary delays or miscommunications. Should an alert not be responded to, the system can escalate the urgency of the situation, sending reminders and sounding alarms to ensure that care can be provided as quickly as possible. They work across multiple sites, so that if the most appropriate person to respond to an alert is at another location at the time the call system is activated, they can still be summoned to come and provide aid as quickly as they can get over to the person in need of it.
Nurse call integration features include location information to help find where the person in need of help actually is. This is operated via infra-red sensors in rooms, or via remote pendants, wristbands, pressure sensors or movement detectors. Video, pager and voice link capabilities can keep everyone in touch during the call response and the call can be cancelled via the care management system if it turns out to be a false alarm. The system is easy to use, with intuitive, clear software and day/night functions for different levels of response and recording. It offers full reporting functionality for compliance, communications with family members and internal record-keeping.
Who can use nurse call integration?
The system works for a number of different locations and organisations. These include residential care homes, hospitals and wards, hospices, assisted living facilities, clinics, therapists and specialist schools. Nurses and carers can carry out their duties in the safe knowledge that they are immediately contactable if an emergency, or other need, arises. Managers can feel more confident when arranging staff rotas and working duties, as staff don’t need to be physically near the alert buttons to hear them and respond. Finally, should someone require help while they are being visited by a friend or family member, they can use the integrated nurse call system to call for assistance. The visitor needn’t leave their side to go and find help – they can stay and provide moral support. All extremely valid reasons for a care home to invest in nurse call integration alongside their general care management system.