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However, a resident had a fall and no one was alerted. After a couple of
incidences, the manufacturer was brought back in to review the components.
They were all in operating order, but the alert wasn’t triggered because the
resident is required to fall in a certain way. This is impossible! The concept is
great, but the execution needs to be evaluated.
Wireless nurse call has changed the face of how a resident room can be
designed in long-term care. No longer is a room inflexible because a nurse
call station has to be hardwired. We are always looking for ways to allow
residents to arrange their rooms and personal effects in a way that is meaningful for them, including choice and preference. Providing wireless nurse call
allows a resident bed to be located anywhere within a room instead of having
a dedicated head wall, as is often found in more institutional settings.
Electronic Health Records (EHR) has been underway in the healthcare sector
for a long time. Clinics and acute care providers have been in the forefront
of complying with requirements, which is indicative of all the portals that are
now available for reviewing test results, posting referrals, scheduling appointments, and paying bills. Utilizing EHR is happening in the long-term care sector
too, but has been a slower implementation.
Many communities want to broaden the base of EHR to include a “life plan”
versus a “care plan.” The goal is to include all aspects of a unique person’s life that
support “living” versus identifying someone only through their medical diagnosis.
This would include meal preferences, activity choices, and other individual characteristics that make up meaningful engagement for a person-centered evaluation.
Although technology can play a role as a tool to help care staff, it is not a
replacement for human interaction with residents and patients. The goal should
be to engage with technology that reduces charting time, streamlines supply
stocking, and reduces staff steps to point-of-service storage areas. Ultimately
the desire would be for technology to be the “ideal assistant”—in turn allowing
care staff to spend more direct, hands-on time with residents and patients.
For the building itself, there are motion sensors that move window shades
in conjunction with the movement of the sun, programmable thermostats
based on sensors and ranges of temperature, and water conservation components. At the onset of the green building movement, these technologies
were not as prolific, but now the cost is lower and monitoring systems are
Demonstrating a return on investment is the best way to incorporate
technology in order for the client to understand payback. Utilization of building
automated systems (BAS) is more prevalent not only in larger healthcare
settings, but also in smaller buildings as a way to benchmark and manage
operational costs and outcomes.
As everyone moves past the holidays and back into the swing of things in
2016, I encourage you to spend time with dear friends and family—even if
you have to schedule it on an electronic device to make sure the work world
doesn’t take over. The personal time you take is truly priceless.
The New Year is a good time to reevaluate the priorities in your life. And
who knows? I’m sure their will eventually be an all-inclusive app that tells you
when to take a break—instead of referencing your calendar, it will just shut
down your electronics! What a wellness break for the soul that would be.
Here’s to a happy 2016 full of purpose and meaningful moments!
Jane Rohde is the founding principal of JSR Associates,
Inc., in Ellicott City, Md. She champions a global cultural
shift toward deinstitutionalizing senior living and healthcare
facilities through person-centered principles, research and
advocacy, and design of the built environment. Clientele
includes nonprofit and for-profit developers, government agencies, senior
living and healthcare providers, and design firms. She speaks internationally
on senior living, aging, healthcare, evidence-based design, and sustain-
ability. She is the first recipient of the Environments for Aging Changemaker
Award presented by the Center for Health Design. For questions or comments,
reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join Us in February
interiors+sources and nGage Events will once again host Design
Connections Healthcare in Ponte Vedre Fla., from Feb. 22-24, 2016.
The program will include continuing education, one-on-one
meetings with manufacturers, and opportunities to network
with other healthcare designers. The event has the support of
IIDA, ASID and AAHID. Design Connections will be offered at no
expense to design professionals and those interested in attending
should contact Lisa Jones at email@example.com. We look
forward to seeing you there!
Once upon a time we thought that technology was going to lead to increased
efficiency that could potentially reduce the hours required to complete
project work. Instead, it seems to continually offer more ways and options,
and no one can ever catch up!