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In addition to retrofitting the technology at the
Reynella facility, Life Care has installed it in its
new facility in Joslin, due to open in Februar y
2018, and committed to retrofitting it in three
other existing facilities.
The solution took two years to develop and
came about when planning the new facility,
which has a new small, group house model
approach to care deliver y, says Pryzibilla.
Unlike a traditional aged care facility, the
design of the building avoids corridors or nurse
stations, and it was challenged with ensuring the
technology followed the new care model.
Research and discussions about alternatives to
traditional nurse call systems followed.
However, after determining that wasn’t true,
the organisation looked more closely at RTLS in
aged care, which is mostly used for equipment,
and Sonitor’s work in the acute sector.
“After speaking with lots of people in industr y
and with Sonitor, we felt the functionality was
there to use this as a primar y nurse call system.”
While focused on a solution for the new facility,
Life Care implemented Call Assist at Reynalla first as
it had the existing nurse call system there that they
could fall back on, if needed. It turns out they didn’t.
“Within a week we were able to turn off the
old nurse call system. The results were fantastic
and better than the results we had out of the
old nurse call system. The residents took to it
immediately,” says Pryzibilla.
Early efficiencies identified
Work is under way with the University of
Melbourne to evaluate the new system against
the old, says Pryzibilla.
But they’re already noticing an improvement
in the time taken to respond to calls for
assistance and other efficiencies since the
new system went live at the 59-bed facility in
September, he says.
Care staff no longer wander around looking
for equipment or checking fridge temperatures,
and the maps help new agency staff find their way
quickly and independently, he says.
Falls is another area of ongoing development
and the facility has phased out its fall and out-of-
bed detection mats, Pryzibilla says.
Existing versus new
At Reynella, the system was retrofitted using
batter y-operated devices and updated Wi-Fi but
without the need to install new cabling. “We had
Wi-Fi but we have had to run ver y dense Wi-Fi
for both location systems,” says Pryzibilla.
At the new site hard-wired devices are part of
a structured cabling system throughout, which
allows systems to be powered centrally.
Robinson says a new building would use wired
ultrasound devices, but both variants function
identically and are equally “ver y quick to do
“One of the benefits for existing facilities is
that the Sonitor solution is easily retrofitted with
battery-operated devices and minimum network
cabling required,” he says.
Other costs are determined by the layout of the
facility and the number of locations and subsequent
infrastructure needed. Robinson says this system
is slightly more expensive than a traditional nurse
call but provides much more function. This kind of
nurse call collects, aggregates and presents a lot
of information. n
“We are able
to and find
we have in
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