Nurse call systems are a mainstay in aged care – they give residents the security of being able to call for help at any time, and help staff provide the best care without having to constantly visit rooms to check up on their charges.
Since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety mandated levels of care for every patient, nurse call systems have also been used for tracking staff attendance. Staff press the ‘nurse presence’ button when they enter and leave the room, which automatically links to the nurse call system to record the time they spent with each patient.
Nurse call systems can be even more effective if they are integrated with other technologies that expand their capabilities. For example, a sensor mat that detects if a patient has got out of bed in the night can send an automatic alert to the nurse station. Or a wearable device can do the same if it detects the patient has fallen.
Integration with smart access control
One of the most effective integrations is when a nurse call system is connected to a smart access control system that manages the locking and unlocking of doors. This allows the aged care facility to streamline operations and further enhance patient safety and care.
Simple and accurate care tracking – integration with access control can make tracking of patient care time simpler and even more accurate. Instead of the staff member having to remember to press the nurse presence button on arrival and leaving, their attendance could be logged through the use of their access card when entering and leaving the room.
Automatic door opening – smart access control can be integrated with a nurse call system and sensors or wearables for faster response to patients. For example, if the patient gets out of bed in the night, or falls, the sensor sends an alert to the nurse control system which triggers the access control system to open the resident’s room door. Staff don’t have to worry about having the right key and unlocking the door – they can simply walk in and help the patient.
Opening multiple doors – sometimes staff need to open multiple doors. In a dementia wing, for example, to bring patients out into the communal areas at the start of the day. With integration, the nurse station can automatically open all of them with a single action, saving staff a lot of time. This is invaluable in an emergency situation too, so residents can be evacuated rapidly and efficiently.
Key considerations for integration
If you’re looking to upgrade your nurse call system or access control, and integrate the two systems, there are two important factors to consider:
Wire-free access control – firstly, look for an access control solution that offers wireless door lock technology, like SALTO Systems. Upgrading door locks with a wire-free solution is faster and more cost effective, as well as requiring a lot less building work, with all its associated noise and upheaval. A wire-free solution allows you to take a staged approach – particularly important when trying to manage budgets – such as installing one wing at a time.
A single expert provider – secondly, the whole process is far smoother if you use a single provider. A company like Nurse Call Solutions who can provide the Miracle Electronics nurse call system, and Inner Range Integriti head system, who are an experienced SALTO partner, and who can carry out all the associated tasks, such as installing the wireless network. With a single provider, there are no gaps in the solution – just a fast, cost-effective installation that helps you provide the best care for your residents.