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Haus Desiree Uses RTLS to Keep an Eye on Nursing Home Residents

The German facility utilizes a solution from Ekahau and HealthCarion to track the locations of residents, ensure that they do not wander and send messages to staff members if a resident requires help.
By Claire Swedberg
Each nurse wears an Ekahau T301BD tag on a lanyard containing an LCD screen to receive text messages. In this case, the badge's unique ID number is not linked to an individual, but simply indicates that the person wearing the badge is a staff member. In that way, employees need not feel as if their own performance is being evaluated by management as they move about the building. When a nurse call is sent to specific staff badges, a light flashes, the device vibrates, and a text message appears on the screen, indicating where help is required, as well as by which resident.

The software also provides protection from wandering. If a resident enters an area in which he or she is not permitted, such as an exit or a medical procedure room, an alert is issued to authorized staff members, enabling them to respond immediately.

By maintaining a record of events, Haus Désirée's management can also review incidents after the fact. For example, Schulze says, if a resident tells family members that he or she has been using the wristband to call for help, but has not been receiving responses from the staff, the family members can ask to see the records, and thereby determine when their loved one pressed the nurse-call buttons, when he or she received responses and how quickly this occurred.

According to Schulze, the entire system was installed in a matter of approximately two weeks, including the installation of the Wi-Fi nodes and IR beacons. Wi-Fi nodes were mounted throughout the building, providing 100 percent coverage, while the IR beacons were placed within resident rooms, bathrooms and medical procedure or common areas.

With the RFID technology in place, the nursing home can now provide its residents with greater freedom of movement than they would have had prior to its installation, since employees can be assured that they will receive an alert if an individual wanders into an unauthorized area.

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