Spring Cleaning: Why it’s Time to Start Fresh with Life Safety

 Temperatures are warming. Buds are popping. And you are thinking about spring cleaning. Have you considered refreshing your tired eCall technology? 

Whether you are building new or refreshing an existing community, your number one goal is to keep your residents safe and healthy. Resource issues and performance challenges impact staff efficiency and make it harder to keep residents safe. You have many options when it comes to life safety technology. While it’s easy to stay with the solution you know, are you 100% confident it will keep you competitive today and into the future? 

Before you say “yes” to the same technology, ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to keep your residents safe and healthy, make staff efficient and effective, and create a value proposition that increases occupancy and revenue. 

Keep Residents Safe 

Your team relies on your eCall platform to help keep residents safe and healthy while reducing risk. If you are using, or considering, an eCall solution that is at least seven years old, you could be missing out on important technology developments. 

Ask yourself: Does it include the capabilities you need to keep pace with today’s infectious diseases, stricter reporting requirements and analytics that help caregivers act before an adverse event occurs? If you can say yes to these questions, keep your trusted solution. 

If you’re not sure, keep reading to see today’s must-have technology requirements for an eCall solution that gives residents confidence and families peace of mind today and well into the future. 

Eight must-have capabilities to keep residents safe and healthy: 

  • Passive monitoring 
  • Pathway lighting 
  • Fall detection 
  • Real Time Location Services 
  • Loitering or wander detection 
  • Conflict avoidance and separation alerts 
  • Contact tracing and case management
  • Geofencing

Regardless of its age, your favorite eCall system could be missing new technology that will help keep your residents safe and healthier longer. Passive monitoring, which lets staff know a resident is up for the day while preserving dignity, is at the top of your must-have list. Pathway lights that turn on and off automatically to light the way for a nighttime restroom visit help avoid falls. When a fall occurs, fall detection technology alerts staff to send help immediately. 

Does your technology use Real Time Location Services (or RTLS)? No longer about dots on a screen, RTLS provides many benefits from notifying staff when a resident has been loitering near a door (or other unrestricted area) to alerting staff when two people are together who shouldn’t be. Sophisticated RTLS technology can also sound an alarm when a resident has separated from a needed medical device such as a walker. When integrated with unique camera technology, it can detect when a “known wanderer” has walked out an exit. 

While COVID may be on the decline, knowing who has been exposed to it—or any other infectious conditions—within minutes helps minimize the spread. Look for a next-generation eCall solution that leverages automated contact tracing, protocol-based care management and geofencing (of an apartment, wing or person) to reduce the impact and risk of any contagion. Caregivers can use this same RTLS-based eCall technology to set occupancy limits on a community room to help staff manage overcrowding. 

Make Staff More Effective and Efficient 

On February 4, 2022, Senior Housing Newsi reported that sixty-four percent (64%) of survey respondents identified staffing as the greatest non-Covid challenge in 2022. Just twenty-eight percent (28%) gave the same answer in 2021. At the same time, thirty-seven percent (37%) said staffing pressures would extend into 2023. 

While this is not a surprise for operators, the challenge to overcome it is real. One answer is to provide tools that make staff more efficient. As the workforce trends younger, may be bi-lingual or are just entering the workforce, they want and expect to use technology. The benefit for you is that it can help your care be more consistent. Does your eCall solution include a mobile app, a view into other medical data and actionable dashboards? It needs to! 

Eight must-have capabilities to make staff more effective and efficient: 

  • Mobile app 
  • Proximity-based alarm closure 
  • Note-assist for real-time information sharing 
  • Dashboards for staff planning 
  • Integrated EMR 
  • RTLS for resident search 
  • Actionable reporting 
  • Ongoing support and training you can trust 

Caregiver staff prefer smart phone technology. Your eCall platform should include a mobile app that enables the caregiver to accept an alarm when they are near a resident and close that alarm using simple icons and quick text to track services provided and communicate concerns. 

A modern eCall solution uses RTLS to help staff find residents quickly to administer needed medication or to help a family member locate loved ones. That same RTLS solution also tracks staff routines and provides a dashboard to help determine appropriate staffing patterns, as well as justify a need to change a resident’s care level. 

The ability to integrate with other critical healthcare solutions, like an EMR, and display key medical data points on their mobile app such as allergies, medications, fall risk and DNR status, also make staff more effective while improving care outcomes. 

Can your eCall technology automate any operational tasks to make service delivery more efficient and deliver objective, actionable reporting? Today’s technology captures thousands of data points and delivers insights to help your staff act before an incident occurs. Bathroom usage monitoring captures discreet information and alerts staff of increases, which can signal an infection. Pathway lights combined with bed pad monitoring capture sleep patterns and alert staff when that resident is at a higher risk for falls because they are tired. 

Just as important, are you confident that your technology partner has your back? Are they available after hours to resolve support questions? Do they have multiple training options to help you through staff transitions? Are they helping your team leverage all of the capabilities in your eCall system? You rely on your eCall solution; you need a partner just as reliable. 

Increase Occupancy and Revenue 

AARPii reported in November, 2021 that seventy-seven percent (77%) of adults 50 and older want to remain in their homes for the long term. And the number of households headed by people age 65 and older is expected to grow from 34 million to 48 million in the next two decades. 

At the same time, the cost of living continues to increase. As those increases impact the cost of care within senior living communities, operators will have to find new ways to differentiate and prove their value to grow occupancy and revenue. 

Your life safety solution needs to do more than give residents the ability to call for help. The next-generation life safety platform has new capabilities that promote safety and dignity, help staff anticipate needs while offering residents more independence, and provide proof of the valuable care your team provides every day. It is the differentiator you need to grow your community. 

Take a look at Ensure360SM 

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to retire old technology to make room for modern systems that do more. Ensure360SM, from Sentrics, is a next-generation life safety solution that puts care and efficiency at your fingertips. It is RTLS-based eCall that leverages sophisticated sensors, integrations with popular third-party platforms and a rules-based engine to keep residents safe, improve caregiver efficiency and reduce the risk and expense of adverse events. Not sure RTLS is for you yet? Use Ensure Lite and gain many of the same benefits while keeping the door open for an RTLS upgrade later. 

Ensure360 is part of an integrated suite that gives communities a 360-view of a resident’s physical, medical, social and cognitive needs to improve outcomes, reduce risk and provide a better experience. To find out more, go to sentrics.net or call (888) 988-8210.


Download the PDF here.

i Strong Senior Living Operators See ‘More Leeway’ to Address Challenges in 2022. Senior Housing News. Tim Regan. February 4, 2022. 
ii Despite Pandemic, Percentage of Older Adults Who Want to Age in Place Stays Steady. AARP. Michelle R. Davis. November 18, 2021.