Due to the aforementioned lack of regulation, it is critical for all facilities that use a Nurse Call system to accurately record the date, time and result of Call Point checks that are done on a regular basis. These checks can be done on anything from a monthly to annual basis but the more regular the better e.g. Quarterly or Bi-annually are optimal.
The better Nurse Call systems available today provide detailed records of button pushes, battery checks and reduce the workload of Maintenance and Administration in the preparation for an Accreditation audit.
As mentioned previously, good record keeping and regular system checks are the keys to good report card on Nurse Call systems. Whether it is an old notebook for smaller facilities, an MS Excel spreadsheet or the Database of a well-designed Nurse Call system, time-stamped records in a consistent format will provide auditors with the information that they need to ‘tick the box’ for Nurse Call compliance.
Electronic Nurse Call systems have been around in one form or another since the late 60’s. Most systems in use today, particularly in Aged Care, are between eight and thirty years old. These older systems have generally been declared end-of-life by their suppliers but continue to function well, albeit with a limited feature set.
Here more than ever regular system maintenance is the key. Whether cabled or wireless, no system can survive without some maintenance. Six monthly or Annual checks that provide a facility with a certificate of capability should be a fundamental component of the Facility maintenance schedule.
In addition to all of the above information it is an important part of the Accreditation process to demonstrate to auditors what a Facility is doing to improve their Nurse Call system and its responsiveness to the needs of residents, carers and management. Most genuine suppliers are constantly developing new and innovative technology that adds value to all those whom it ‘touches’ on a day-to-day basis. Call your provider and ask what they can do to improve an older system or, more importantly, build into your budget an amount that will provide money for regular system maintenance, important upgrades and useful enhancements.
(This document was written prior to the Royal Commission into Aged Care – 2018)
Geoff Quinn | General Manager – Nurse Call
+61 416 277 709