Bringing in technology to help deliver better aged care

EAC technology helps aged care providers keep residents safe and secure with electronic locks, opened with a digital credential.

The need for transparency in delivering aged care

Technology plays a key role in aged care, and it’s a role that is increasingly taking centre stage since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety published its recommendations. Technology helps aged care providers to deliver high quality care with ever-squeezed resources. It also helps create visible proof of that care. In the post-Commission environment, it’s no longer enough to provide care – facilities must also demonstrate they are doing so. They have to be open and transparent – to industry regulators and to residents’ families. In an industry that has seen poor levels of care (and even abuse), rebuilding trust through visibility is essential.

Technology helping to deliver care

The commission’s report, published in 2021, gave a renewed impetus to the use of technology. It recommends that ‘innovation, continuous improvement and contemporary best practice in aged care are to be promoted’.  Technology used in the sector includes:

  • Digital information systems – to manage real-time, accessible resident and clinical records.1
  • Medication management – to ensure compliance, and reduce the risk of harm to residents. 1
  • Acoustic listening devices – enabling staff to ‘keep an ear’ on residents and react with help where needed.2
  • Movement sensors, to alert staff that a resident is out of bed, and may need help. 2
  • Electronic Access Control (EAC) – ensuring that residents are secure, and cannot access areas that are unsafe for them.

EAC aids visibility

EAC also helps aged care providers deliver on the requirement for transparency. This requirement is expressed by the Royal Commission report as: ‘Government entities, providers, health care professionals and aged care workers…should be open, honest and answerable’ and ‘The aged care system should be transparent and provide…information about aged care’.

EAC technology helps aged care providers keep residents safe and secure with electronic locks, opened with a digital credential. Locks can be on bedroom doors, external doors, communal areas, lifts, medicine cabinets, and the credential can be a plastic card, a wristband fob, a mobile phone, or even the holder’s face. The credential is programmed specifically for the holder. So for example: a resident can access their room, but no-one else’s; they can access the garden, but only during the daytime; only authorised staff can access the medicines store.

EACs help provide visibility by having an audit trail that:

  • Shows who has accessed which areas and when
  • Who has attempted to make an unauthorised access
  • Can link to CCTV data to give additional visual information
  • Integrates with the nurse call system, showing that alerts are being sent and responded to.

Transparency of care

The right EAC solution helps aged care providers deliver on the visibility requirements of the Royal Commission recommendations, by showing that they are:

  • Keeping residents safe by not allowing them to access areas that pose a risk, such as outside at night
  • Ensuring that residents cannot enter each other’s rooms
  • Not allowing certain residents, such as those with dementia, to leave the premises without supervision
  • Enabling family and friends to visit easily, whilst also maintaining security
  • Making the required number of nurse visits to a room each day and not neglecting patients
  • Following up on alerts from movement or sound-based alert systems
  • Securing medicine stores and only making them accessible to authorised staff
  • Tracking who has been where, including any unauthorised access.

2021 saw the start of a new era for the provision of aged care – an era in which technology plays an ever-more significant role. EAC is an essential technology, helping providers to keep residents safe, promote quality of life, and giving them the visibility that proves their actions.

To learn more about how SALTO Systems smart electronic access control systems can assist your facility, contact SALTO Healthcare Vertical manager, Sis Inthavong, or 0438 698 029

1 Telstra

2 Social care institute for excellence – UK