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Contact Tracing Simplified – A final solution

Contact Tracing Simplified – A final solution

Geoangel Long Term Care

Contact Tracing Simplified

A final solution

By Karen Stockdale, MB, BSN, RN

Controlling the spread of infectious diseases among our vulnerable populations has never been more important

Have you ever tried to trace how many people you had contact with during a busy day?  And then trace all the people that person came into contact with?  It is a game that will literally make your head spin.  However, it is a practice that helps pinpoint the spread of infectious diseases, isolate carriers, and narrow down who needs testing.  Contact tracing was used extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic – both in healthcare facilities and by public health departments.  The problem is the sheer magnitude of the task! Small interactions – brushing against someone in a hallway, sharing a bench, pushing a wheelchair– all of those count.  Can you remember each one, each day? Geoangel can.

Geoangel Wander Management & Nurse Call Services is a great example of how technology can improve lives in unexpected ways.  The system is most often used in residential care settings, nursing homes, memory care units, and similar facilities.  The smartwatch-like wristband effectively tracks each patient, allowing nursing staff to monitor everyone via tablet.  Each resident has pre-programmed “safe zones”, increasing their safety, reducing falls, and helping staff work more efficiently. The system has a very important secondary function – contact tracing! Imagine if –  instead of relying on memories to track steps and interactions – you could print off a report? Saving precious time, and reducing the spread is what that report means.

COVID-19 Application

Throughout COVID, we all waited with bated breath as we watched those first cases emerge in a nursing home and realized the horror that can unfold with our most vulnerable population. Employees were scared –for the residents, for themselves, and their families.  The stark truth was that if one case emerged in a facility, the entire patient population ended up confined to their rooms on isolation, and the whole facility waited. Who was next? Do I already have it?  Do I have a fever?

With Geoangel, an outbreak can be more effectively managed and contained, potentially without loss of freedom for every resident, and with peace of mind for employees. Maintaining the independence and normal routine as much as possible for residents is very important for physical, social, and emotional health  The CDC states that contact tracing, specific to COVID-19, helps protect us by letting people know they have been exposed and allowing them to begin monitoring and isolating as necessary. It also helps people get tested earlier, and prioritizes that testing.

A lot of the spread that happened in nursing homes with Covid-19 was inadvertently brought in by staff. With Geoangel in place, that initial case can be traced and isolated, with their direct and indirect contacts monitored.  Staff who are at risk can be isolated until negative, rather than coming back to work and potentially increasing the spread. That staff person’s close family and contacts can also get tested – preventing spread in the outside community.

Other Uses for Contact Tracing

 

Although the public hasn’t been quite as aware of it, contact tracing has been used for a long time to track infectious diseases.  Nursing homes have always been high-risk environments for transmission of MRSA, C-Diff, Noroviruses, and Influenza, among others.  The disabled and aged are particularly at risk for long-term effects and mortality from these illnesses, as they usually already have some sort of compromised immunity or chronic illness. Facilities with high infection rates are not only risky places for the elderly to be, but they are at risk for loss of accreditation from CMS, TJC, or others. A proactive approach to contain, treat, and prevent the spread of infection is not a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. A system like Geoangel truly protects loved ones, staff, and facilities from harm and provides important tools for tackling core issues like infection transmission.

Regulatory Implications

CMS and each state issue guidance for long-term care facilities to conduct contact tracing.  One example from the state of Pennsylvania, which is like many others, involves a 15-step process, with many sub-steps, a paper log sheet, and suggests using an Excel sheet as well.  Geoangel reduces the number of steps required by staff to trace residents, and greatly increases the accuracy. With standardized reports, analysis of how close residents were to each other, and information about times of contact that can be compared to onset of symptoms – Geoangel facilities are armed to do battle.

This contact tracing information also provides valuable guidance to concentrate efforts in the right way.  Housekeeping staff can cover the areas and surfaces that are highest risk for transmission quickly, and before they tackle less-risky areas. Nursing staff can isolate affected residents, initiate testing, and notify families quickly, preventing further spread. Staff can leave knowing if they had a probable contact and make decisions about exposing family members and take steps to get tested.

 

A real solution

Geoangel facilities reap the benefits of the wander management and nurse call systems every day.  However, when infectious disease hits, along with anxiety – the hidden value of the system gets to work. 

No added training, no added systems, just peace of mind – and it has simply been there all along.

Effective LTC Staff Strategies

Effective LTC Staff Strategies

Geoangel Long Term Care

Effective LTC Staff Strategies –

Work Smarter, Not Harder

Innovative tools can not only take better care of residents – but better care of valuable staff, too!

Nursing care staff in a residential care facility are some of the hardest-working folks you will ever meet.  Ask one of them how many miles he or she travels up and down the halls in a shift – definitely no problem getting the daily steps in! People who go into the nursing profession wish to make a difference in the lives of the elderly and disabled but are often frustrated by the lack of time to give the one-on-one care that is ideal.  At the same time, facility administrators and managers are often frustrated by budgetary restraints that don’t allow the kind of staff numbers they would love to provide.

Help Prevent LTC Staff Burnout

Nursing staff burnout has been a problem for quite some time, especially in long-term care – one of the most difficult care settings.  The pandemic has amplified this burnout trend, as reported by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with increased rates of grief, trauma, long-term stress, and exhaustion for staff.  The pandemic, plus inability to successfully provide the best care possible, has resulted in lasting damage to healthcare workers and difficulty recruiting new staff.

In the face of all these constraints – more residents, fewer LTC staff, and a difficult job that is not getting any easier – we must ask the question:

Is there a better way? Can staff work smarter, not harder, to care for residents?

Geoangel can now proudly say YES!

The age-old challenge of protecting the safety of residents, while maintaining their independence is tough. Instead of moving residents to areas where they can be more easily monitored by staff, such as lined up in hallways or group areas, what if locations could be tracked and safety monitored in real-time (RTLS), instantaneously? The extra layer of safety is inobtrusive for residents, and a seamless addition to the workflow for LTC staff.

Residents wear a smartwatch device and are allowed to wander freely in pre-designated areas. LTC Staff have tablets with an app that tracks and alerts when residents are in a restricted area for them, so they can quickly be redirected.

An intuitive interface

Through the computer map on the GeoTablet, there is easy access and an intuitive interface. Staff easily learn the system within no time. Staff can trace any potential hazard such as exposure to a pathogen such as COVID-19. All of the location tracking can be done wirelessly and in real-time. Instead of spending unnecessary time and resources finding and relocating the “lost” resident, the emphasis can instead be shifted to cleaning, isolation, and reduction of the spread of infection. In other words, the focus can be transferred to saving lives, in addition to better prevention of infection and avoidance of potential problems.

Support Residents and Staff

Tablet-based Geoangel technology is the type of practical innovation that changes the caregiving industry for the better.  When staff feel supported and able to better take care of residents, it fosters a new momentum, and the work culture begins to move in the right direction again. The ability to do less back-and-forth locating residents to prevent at-risk behavior, and more time to listen, smile, and engage with residents, improves employee satisfaction. Geoangel suggests that staff take part in care meetings that define green, yellow, and red (danger) zones – individualized for each resident.  With input from daily caregivers, each resident can live at peak independence – depending on his or her mental and physical ability.

Data-Driven Staffing Decisions

 

Another great feature that comes from using Geoangel is the ability to view residents’ patterns of activity and develop even more effective staffing models.  The important data that comes from usage patterns, response times, and numbers of redirections can arm managers with much needed tools.  Data-driven decision-making is ingrained in healthcare, and now staffing decisions can be based on solid information as well.

 

A real solution

Geoangel produces happier residents that can stroll in safe areas at their leisure, enjoy fresh air, engage in activities, and enjoy independence at a safely defined level. It also produces LTC staff that breathe a sigh of relief, get excited about work again, and start to remember why they began this healthcare journey! Fewer call lights, fewer patient falls, and reduced staff turnover can be yours. Let us show you the benefits of putting Geoangel to work in your facility and request a free demo. You will be just as excited as we are about how the day-to-day lives of both your residents and staff can improve for the better with this smart technology.”

National Skilled Nursing Care Week – Together we care

National Skilled Nursing Care Week – Together we care

National Skilled Nursing Care Week

Together we care

From all of us here at Geoangel, thank you.

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The Ultimate Wander Management System that has you covered

The Ultimate Wander Management System that has you covered

Geoangel

The Ultimate Wander Management System that has you covered

“Not all those who wander are lost.”—J.R.R. Tolkien

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to change their practices, adapt, and tread into uncharted territory, but as J.R.R Tolkien reminded us we do not have to be “lost.” Health care institutions such as assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities have faced additional trials. In the face of these challenges, there has been the emergence of real solutions.

The Geoangel system is one of them. It has provided some welcome relief, using a revolutionary proprietary technology for wander management. The primary goals are safety, freedom, and independence since residents can be seen on a live computer map, but there are other surprising advantages as well, eliminating errors and redundancy. Patients, families, and staff have benefited from this latest advance.

The learning curve during the pandemic has been steep. Personal protective equipment, COVID testing, and plain common sense have just not been enough in many cases to keep residents safe and secure. Families and have dealt with not only the physical location of the resident or being “lost,” but also the expanded problems of whether the resident was “lost” in an unsafe environment.

The Geoangel system offers a unique ability for contact tracing using the GeoWatch and the nurse tracking system using a GeoTablet, and the creation of safe areas known as GeoZones. It is one thing to be able to know the precise location of a resident at a given time; it is a whole other thing to know where the resident has been and who or what he or she had come in contact with along the way.

An intuitive interface

Through the computer map on the GeoTablet, there is easy access and an intuitive interface. Staff easily learn the system within no time. Staff can trace any potential hazard such as exposure to a pathogen such as COVID-19. All of the location tracking can be done wirelessly and in real-time. Instead of spending unnecessary time and resources finding and relocating the “lost” resident, the emphasis can instead be shifted to cleaning, isolation, and reduction of the spread of infection. In other words, the focus can be transferred to saving lives, in addition to better prevention of infection and avoidance of potential problems.

Non prone to interference

The Geoangel system is made possible by the use of the GeoWatch. The GeoWatch is unlike any other since it is easy to use, and it looks like a new style of smartwatch that family members will probably want for themselves. It avoids false alarms because it doesn’t use RFID or microwave technology like other similar devices. It has special features which are designed for anyone to be able to use instantly. The GeoWatch works with a simple touch.

Much More than

Resident Location

One of the most remarkable advantages of the Geoangel system is that in addition to narrowing down the location of the resident, it offers an enormous, rich data source that had been previously unavailable. It allows the staff and institution to calculate the true cost of care for each resident, making it a sound investment and savings in the long run.

Best serve

Your Residents

Armed with the information about where residents are, where they need to be, and how to best serve their individual needs, staff can improve workflows, monitor time better, and achieve patient and family satisfaction while maintaining safety.

 

Checking all the boxes

In summary, the Geoangel system empowers the staff to not just be effective, but efficient. The system is a cost-saving extension of services rather than merely an added convenience. It is invaluable in any healthcare setting where

Not all those who wander are lost.”

Contact Tracing Simplified – A final solution

Geoangel helps SNFs Overcome Covid-19 Fallout

Geoangel helps SNFs Overcome Covid-19 Fallout

17

NOVEMBER, 2020

Management

Health

You need a system that not only helps you and your staff work more efficiently, but also to overcome this crisis and increase your census by bringing in new residents and earning the trust of families. Here’s how we can help.

This crisis that the world is going through, especially with the second wave of cases surging; has put enormous pressure on caregivers. With the lasting impact of Covid-19 there is a tremendous effect on the expectations that families have for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

GeoWatch

Gain the families’ trust again

Contact Us to find the best wander management solution for you

From the point of view of a family whose loved ones are living in a nursing facility, the fact that, still in many cases, they cannot go to check on their relatives has created a sense of anxiety and mistrust. Family trust is hard to obtain and even harder to maintain. It is understandable that in hard times, they want to check on and be there for their family. When you can’t do that, you want to be sure that those in charge of their safety and health are doing what’s best.

But what can you do?

Geoangel helps SNFs Overcome Covid-19 Fallout 1 covid

Nurse Call capabilities

Geoangel sends live data to staff so care givers can be aware of residents’ activity levels, including the Fall Danger Alert. That combined with the Nurse Call functionality, enabling a resident to press a button on Geoangel’s GeoWatch™ from anywhere and notify a nurse they are in need of assistance, gives the staff the option to assess the situation immediately by knowing the resident’s identity, and location. These features make Geoangel a system like no other, and a basic tool for an efficient nursing home.

wander management

Accurate resident location

Geoangel also provides accurate location services, to know (within 2 inches) the exact position of each resident, inside, outside, or anywhere in the world. Families love these features, that’s why so many facilities are turning to Geoangel as their wander management system.

Additionally, our Infection Control and Contact Tracing feature, will allow the staff to trace human interactions that each resident has had during the previous two weeks in case someone has Covid-19 symptoms.

As you read this, Geoangel is helping many facilities across the country increase their census and gain back the trust from families and residents. Geoangel’s team understands your challenges and that’s why we have created a solution that will not only help you return to a solid position, but also help you reach a new frontier of care giving services.

Astonishing Real Time Location for Dementia Residents

Astonishing Real Time Location for Dementia Residents

Astonishing Real Time Location for Dementia Residents

03

JUN, 2019

Management

Health

Advances in technology make things, we never thought possible, a reality.  Consider how we used to have to give family and friends the phone numbers to hotels when we traveled or worry about calls from children at work before the cell phone became mainstream.  Consider how much information exchange has changed from relying on traditional mail service to faxing, scanning and emailing.

Technology has tremendous capability to change the current state of wander management in healthcare.  30 years ago, residents who wandered were locked behind a door, or worse, chemically or physically restrained from moving at all.  Then we moved to a new type of technology that alarmed when a tag on a resident passed a doorway sensor.  And still many years later, this is still the state of most of healthcare’s wander management:  a resident with a tag or bracelet goes past a door, a loud alarm hopefully goes off.  Geoangel is a solution that uses current technologies to improve the lives of both residents and the staff that care for them.

Real time location

A human approach to Wander Management

Contact Us to find the best wander management solution for you

Geoangel uses mainstream technologies in a different setting:  healthcare.  Residents wear an attractive GeoWatch; that looks like today’s smart watches.  Sensors placed strategically in a healthcare facility are used to identify where residents are both inside and outside the community’s walls.  Inside the facility, communities can identify if a resident is in a space that is unsafe, like stairwells, kitchens, or administrative areas.  Outside the facility, communities can identify when residents are safely inside a courtyard or move outside of community grounds.

“Geoangel also uses a real time map of your community that shows where residents are at all times.”

Real Time Location Impact

Imagine as a nurse that you can know the location of one of your residents at the touch of a button or a glance at a map.  Imagine that as a CNA you are able to allow a resident in the courtyard to enjoy some sunshine without being worried about them wandering away without your knowledge.  All of this is possible with Geoangel. 

Often caregivers are forced to deny residents more independence such as going outside on a nice day or going to an activity with a group outside a secured unit because of fear for the resident to wander into an unsafe situation.  Geoangel changes that.   With Geoangel, you are alerted when a resident moves from a safe zone (that you designate) to an unsafe zone (that you also determine).  This alert is not the noisy, intrusive beeping currently in place.  It is transmitted using a series of notifications that are customized to escalate up to CNAs, nurses, leadership, and administrators…even to fire and rescue if you desire.  Geoangel also uses a real time map of your community that shows where residents are at all times.

Real time location

Accurate resident location

GeoWatch wander management

Awesome features to improve your work

Astonishing Real Time Location for Dementia Residents 2 real time

Geoangel

The wander management revolution

A new era in wander management

Geoangel allows maximum independence for residents without maximum time commitments from staff.  This system can be used in any healthcare setting.  For skilled nursing care, it allows more safety and security for those struggling with wandering or exit seeking behaviors.  For assisted living, it allows residents to remain in a comfortable setting for longer than is currently possible.  For hospitals, it can help with not only safety but also the varying needs of mentally ill, intellectually disabled, or acutely ill patients.

Geoangel offers advances that we didn’t think possible; offering a new type of quality of life to those we serve.

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