Heron Hill steps into the future with digital supervision
Falls are one of the biggest challenges in elderly care in the UK, and Heron Hill has taken a step to help falls prevention in the institutional care facility. How has the first couple of months been?
For over 20 years, the family-owned Abby Healthcare has provided care in their group of 16 care homes across England and Scotland. In Kendal, Heron Hill has been working tirelessly to provide both physical and emotional wellbeing to their residents. Heron Hill tailors their care to their residents’ interests and needs and have in later years been interested in welfare technology.
Digital transformation and falls prevention
Last year, Care Home Manager Nicola Spedding attended a care-conference with their Directors, and learned more about welfare technology and the possibilities that lies within digital transformation. After talking with some of the vendors and doing some research, Heron Hill found Sensio.
- We chose Sensio because of all the different features that were available in the products, and how easy it is to add features once you get comfortable with the product, Spedding says. It is not always easy to know what is happening everywhere all at once, and we sometimes saw the residents with unexpected bruising. Now we have better opportunity to observe and catch potential falls, she adds.
Seasoned staff and brand new technology
Spedding has been working in the care sector since 1992, and as a Care Home Manager she always encourages open and honest discussions with her residents and their families, so that her and her team can perform as best they can.
- Using RoomMate can be assuring for both relatives and staff, as we now have better view of both what is happening with the residents – but also to observe behaviour and ensure safety, Spedding says.
Clinical Lead at Heron Hill, Sandra Lawrence is also new with using the RoomMate system, but are excited about the opportunities that lies within the product.
- We are still in a trial period; we have been using it for three months now. We are still not utilizing the system to it`s full potential, but the main benefits so far is the overall observation and for the staff not to feel so invasive. The residents can now have more privacy and safety, and this gives and overall better care, Lawrence says.
When implementing a brand new system, some challenges always arises. Spedding and Lawrence agrees that there have been some start up issues, mainly with the internet connection and making both staff and residents comfortable with using a brand new products.
- It`s been tricky because of the internet supplier, but your support rep Sven Seljom has been fantastic. He is always there if there is anything he can do, just a phone call away, Spedding says.
- And the staff is getting comfortable with Sven, and just calls him directly if they have any questions, Lawrence adds.
Employee showing how the monitor looks, and where the alerts for falls detection would show.
Lawrence also tells us that the staff at Heron Hill is good at embracing new things and technology, but that they did raise some concerns beforehand about feeling monitored.
- They did wonder how this would affect them and if we would monitor the staff, but I believe that they just needed to start using the product to get more familiar with it, Lawrence says.
The RoomMate has for the last three months initially been tested in 8 of the residents room, but are now being installed in all 34 rooms on the floor. The main reason for this expand, is the feeling of safety it provides both staff, residents an families.
- The night staff finds it especially useful and likes the fact that they now can check in on several patients in a shorter span of time. They have cut down the need for hourly checks and potentially waking up the patients, to monitor on a screen from the nurse’s station. This ensures that the residents are not interrupted as much, and get a much better quality of sleep, Spedding says.
Ability to detect situations quicker
The most important feature on RoomMate, is it`s ability to detect situastions where a fall might occur, and alert staff so that they can enter the room immediately to check on the residents and see if everything is ok – and prevent the fall from happening. At Heron Hill, this has been the main reason for choosing to install RoomMate.
- When we see a fall about to happen, or that someone has fallen, we can now respond immediately. That has been the biggest win so far, and is an reassurance to the family that we are truly taking care of their family member. The biggeste value RoomMate and Sensio has provided, is the fall risk monitoring, Lawrence says.
Possibilities within the product
RoomMate also provides different features and can be implemented with a complete nurse call system. When asked about whether Spedding and Lawrence would ever recommend trying out RoomMate, they said:
- Try it! It gives you and the family the reassurance that they are taken well care of. We know that we often feel apprehensive about care facilities, and no one wants to put their families there – but sometimes you have to. With RoomMate you have a better overview of what is happening, and how they are doing, Spedding says.
- You can make individual reports for the residents, give reassurance to the families, and quality check the care they are provided. This is not about watching people, but about looking out for them, Lawrence adds.
Both Spedding and Lawrence are excited about the products, and are looking forward to trying out more of the features from both RoomMate and Sensio in the future.
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