Retirement Home improves response time with an integrated Nurse Call solution
Modernizing the Nurse Call System
Casa Dolce Casa is a privately owned, assisted living retirement home in Woodbridge, Ontario, that employs a team of registered practical nurses, personal support workers and unregistered care providers to support up to 64 elderly residents.
The facility had been relying on a Nurse Call system that used pagers to notify the care team when residents activated their call bells. This system could only indicate who had called for help but not where they were in the building, so the staff would spend a lot of time searching for residents. Since team members carried handheld radios instead of phones, communication was very fragmented, making it difficult to coordinate activities.
In 2019, the Nurse Call system began malfunctioning with increasing regularity, causing more and more downtime, which was difficult for both the residents and staff. Casa Dolce Casa soon decided to replace the unreliable system.
Casa Dolce Casa needed to replace a malfunctioning pager-based Nurse Call system with a reliable solution that would enable the care team to respond more quickly when elderly residents called for assistance. Team communication was also a challenge because staff had to rely on basic handheld radios to coordinate their activities.
The assisted living retirement home selected the Panasonic Nurse Call solution for its flexibility and userfriendly design. Casa Dolce Casa’s solution consists of wearable push-button pendants, in-room voice communication terminals, rugged cordless phones, care management software with powerful reporting capabilities, and a PBX system.
The Panasonic Nurse Call solution utilizing Poltys’ Direct Care Connect DCC™ has shortened response times, increased productivity, strengthened accountability and helped to improve quality of life at Casa Dolce Casa. In addition, stress levels have gone down among the staff because the Nurse Call system fosters teamwork and makes it easier to monitor vulnerable residents.
A Flexible Solution from Panasonic
Casa Dolce Casa chose the Panasonic Nurse Call solution because its modular architecture and broad range of features offered the most flexibility with respect to daily operations and future upgrades. The retirement home decided to implement the full Nurse Call solution, including wireless push-button pendants and in-room DTU100 communication terminals for the residents, TCA385 rugged DECT cordless phones for the care team, Direct Care Connect (DCC) software for the managers, plus a dedicated PBX system.
Casa Dolce Casa selected Dial Tone Communications, an authorized Panasonic dealer, to implement the Nurse Call system. “Dial Tone is very easy to work with, super respectful and super professional, so it made our decision to buy the Panasonic solution that much easier,” explained Kirsy Alvarez, Casa Dolce Casa’s Office Administrator. “We knew, at the end of the day, that Dial Tone would have our backs and vouch for whatever they were going to install. If we had any issues, we knew we could always go back to them.”
Once the new PBX system had been installed, the Nurse Call solution was up and running throughout the facility in a few days, with downtime limited to a single 8-hour period for the changeover.
“The installation process went very smoothly,” said Florian Vera, Director of Systems and Integration at Casa Dolce Casa. “I think Dial Tone is the best subcontractor we’ve ever had. They’re fast and they know the product.”
Response Time goes Down, Productivity goes Up
For the care team at Casa Dolce Casa, the DCC Nurse Call system has taken the guesswork out of locating residents who call for assistance. Whenever a resident presses the button on their pendant, the system not only relays the call to the care team but also identifies the area from which the call originated, helping team members find the resident more quickly.
Faster, more targeted responses have translated into productivity gains, better outcomes for the residents, less stress on the staff and continued compliance with care regulations. “By law, we have to maintain a certain response time,” said Vera. “Even though the care team has a good average, there are some calls that go beyond the acceptable time; the reporting feature in the Direct Care Connect software helps our head nurse find them and understand what happened on those occasions.”
“Because we have access to the data, we can extract it and share it with families,” added Alvarez. “So if a resident claims that we have a really slow response time, we can go into our system, pull out that information in a report, and share it openly with families so they can see that we answered the call and physically attended within a 10-minute window. It gives the nursing team some peace of mind, knowing that the Nurse Call system can objectively vouch for the care they’re providing.
Technology You Can Build On
The newly installed Panasonic Nurse Call solution has been so well received by residents and staff alike that Casa Dolce Casa has asked Dial Tone to extend the new PBX system throughout the building, replacing their old phone network with Panasonic technology. The new, integrated system will feature a comprehensive alert capability, speakers and intercoms in common areas, and reliable, competitively priced phone service for residents.
With the expanded PBX system supported by equipment installed for the Nurse Call solution, Casa Dolce Casa expects to benefit from streamlined internal communications, simplified phone setup/removal, and significant, long-term cost savings.
“What’s great about the Panasonic Nurse Call solution is the user friendliness, the reliability and the customizability,” said Vera. “It’s a product you can just keep building on—and that is very big when you implement new technology. Every time I wonder, ‘Can we do this?’ or ‘Can we do that?’ the answer is always ‘Yes.’ The DCC Nurse Call system is future proof.”