Intelligent Technology for Residential Care
Technology has changed the way we live and work. As consumers, we are used to having instant access to the information we use to manage our lives. Running late? You can easily send a quick update on your timing. At the airport and want to make sure your home security is on? A few clicks and you’re done. It is now even possible to adjust your home heating system remotely. The Internet of Things (IoT) is here and part of our lives. What about businesses, healthcare, and even residential care facilities?
Organizations have been slower to adopt IoT solutions. Technology that is ideal for consumers isn’t well suited for businesses with legacy solutions, competing wireless frequencies, scalability demands, and security concerns. As the pace of development has progressed, new solutions have emerged designed explicitly for the requirements of businesses. Digital transformation and business IoT technologies can create a dynamic and evolving working environment that can directly benefit the bottom line.
For residential care facilities, all of this can feel more like marketing jargon vs. technology solutions that will deliver a meaningful difference. Unlike other commercial businesses, the over-arching goal is strengthening patient care and not necessarily focusing merely on productivity or cost-savings. The lives of the residents come first.
As technology has advanced, its application for businesses has evolved. Today technologies can take on more tasks giving providers more time to focus on patient care. Bringing the physical and digital world together, these facilities can provide the highest levels of resident care, safety, and as a bonus help streamline operations.
Residential Care Challenge
Each residential care facility is as unique as the needs of their community, but some tasks are a constant: patient rounds, visitor logs, security and equipment tracking are all traditional manual data entry tasks that are time-consuming and prone to mistakes. For providers, all this paperwork takes away from their primary goal of caring for residents. Additionally, for facilities that specialize in memory care, the safety of residents is an overarching concern.
Digital technologies, in the form of Active Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) or Real-time Location Systems (RTLS), are fundamentally changing how these facilities operate. These technologies have enabled the systematic capture and harnessing of data to provide visibility into the facility’s operations like never before. It is now possible to measure, monitor, and manage the condition of practically everything in real-time. Need to know where a visitor or memory care patient is in real-time? A quick look at a real-time image can bring comfort. Unsure where a staff member is on campus? A quick digital check can save precious minutes.
In addition to the real-time access to information, residential care facilities need to record enormous amounts of data across an increasingly diverse array of functions. Data collection, storage, and analysis are critical to improving patient care and reducing costs. What once was a manual data collection and analysis project can now be managed through a sophisticated software solution.
Active RFID technology is a low cost, highly scalable solution that integrates with the latest innovations and traditional legacy technology. The data collected from sensors sharing equipment location, resident check-ins, security details, and environmental metrics, to name a few, can provide valuable usage patterns to drive continuous improvements. Additionally, by combining artificial intelligence (AI) with Active RFID solutions, facilities can utilize analytics to improve safety and security. These highly intelligent, active RFID solutions can analyze patterns in movements and correlating them to resident sensors. The only thing better than real-time is being able to predict the future.
The U.S. population is aging, and it is only driving the need for more advanced residential care facilities. The U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 National Population Projections expects that by 2035 there will be 78 million people 65 years or older. Thankfully as the baby boomers reach retirement technology is expanding the capabilities of care.
Ready to explore how you can improve patient care and streamline operations? Take the next step and request a free assessment