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Harnessing Technology to Reduce Risk & Improve Care

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Falls can have serious consequences, including fractures to head injuries, not to mention the psychological impact and subsequent loss of confidence. Residents in a care home setting are three times more likely to experience a fall, than those living in the community (this equates to a rate of 1.5 falls per care home bed per year) and are ten times more likely to suffer hip fractures compared with older people living in other environments. It’s with this in mind that Intercall have harnessed the power of technology and developed innovations to help aid fall prevention in the care home environment.

 

The Safeguard Sensor monitors rooms where the resident is prone to falling or wandering at night. The ceiling mounted thermal image sensor passively monitors bed occupancy giving accurate motion readings, while allowing the resident to adjust their sleeping position without the risk of generating a false alarm. It does this by recording movement both in and out of bed. By masking an area using software, the data generated can be used to track a pattern of individual behaviour, should that behaviour change or register as irregular, then an alert can be raised on the nurse call system, bringing immediate assistance. On an aesthetic level, the Safeguard Sensor removes potential trip hazards and infection risk that can be caused by traditional pressure mats and cables.  

 

In a similar vein, nurse call data can be used to assist in making informed decisions about care staffing levels in different areas/ wards. The Intercall Data Logging system automatically captures and records all system activity, enabling care managers to identify busy times and to evaluate the number of calls, types of calls and crucially the response times, giving valuable insight into the day to day running of the care facility and allowing informed staffing decisions to be made. The automatic upgrading of alert priorities also assists nursing staff in attending calls in the right place at the right time, and the use of care cards in Intercall Touch can identify staff and their actions. 

 

Using technology in this way can be an invaluable asset for the managers and nursing staff in a care situation. It also demonstrates accountability and proactivity to patients and their families, offering reassurance of the highest level of care and prevention.

 

Fear of falling is very common in older people and can lead to social isolation, even within the care home environment, but by harnessing technology through considered innovation, we hope to support care homes in their mission to prevent accidents and falls.