There may be something wrong with your call system and you don’t even know it!

By Susan Saldibar

I don’t think I’d get much of an argument if I were to say that emergency or nurse call alerts are critical in senior housing. If a resident needs help, they need to be able to trigger an alert and get the help. Right?

But what if the alert itself isn’t alerting? What if it was due for maintenance and the warning symptoms were ignored? What if a battery had died? What if the system was just taken offline? Would anyone know? Or would they just go about their work, thinking, “Wow, isn’t it great that nobody needs help?”

I spoke recently with Jacquie Brennan, VP or Operations for Vigil Health Systems (a Senior Housing Forum partner), about something I didn’t know could happen. Namely, that their call system can be telling staff that they need to replace a battery or that it’s time for maintenance, but the team of caregivers might, in the throes of caring for residents, ignore these internal alerts. Or, they may not be trained to deal with them. It’s not done out of maliciousness or lack of caring, rather it’s a side effect of being spread too thin and/or undertrained.  

Vigil created their Vigil Cloud Diagnostics Monitoring program after implementing their Vigil Cloud services to ensure sites that had subscribed to the cloud were communicating properly over the internet. “This system also allowed us to ensure that each client’s system was online and working at all times,” Jacquie tells me.

That discovery led Vigil to create their Vigil Cloud Diagnostics Monitoring service. The goals are as follows:

  • Minimize downtime

  • Compensate for turnover/training issues

  • Spot any issues proactively

  • Identify which sites need attention

  • Flag those sites to Vigil Customer Support

The system automatically runs checks on various key factors and places the sites with the most urgent response issues at the top of the queue. “When we see this, we will proactively call to inform the customer. We often find new team members who know little about the call system,” Jacquie says. “So, if necessary, we walk them through the steps to resolve the issue,” she adds.

“Staff turnover is a key issue here,” Jacquie explains. “And it can result in new team members who don’t know how the system works, let alone when a battery is low or maintenance required. By monitoring the systems remotely, we can alert the customer so that the issue doesn’t go unnoticed,” she adds.

This is a great idea, especially in hectic care settings where team members strive for more face time with residents. It’s good to know that the Vigil Cloud Diagnostic Monitoring service is on the beat, informing communities when anything threatens the performance of their call alert systems. Who else provides this level of oversight? As far as Jacquie knows, no other alert solution provides this level of oversight. Something to think about. Especially if your residents become uncharacteristically silent!

For more information about Vigil Health Solutions, please visit their website.

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