Web Based Building Monitoring Keep Seniors Safe
Dan Scully checks the status of one of his homes |
using the cell phone data access feature.
Web Based Building Monitoring Keep Seniors SafeAutomated building monitoring is an established technology, but having a human responder always available can be unaffordable. Web based monitoring services provide a solution.
Dan and Donna Scully of Regency Care Corporation have been providing care for some of their community's oldest and most fragile members for more than 30 years. Their focus is on providing care for those seniors suffering from dementia or other disabling conditions, who require daily nursing care in licensed long term care facilities.
Donna is a registered nurse and Dan runs the business development side. Starting out with a single nursing home in the early 1970's, they were operating five homes with up to 160 seniors per home, by 1998. It was then that the Ontario government announced that it would award licenses for another 20,000 long-term care beds in the province of Ontario.
With thirty years of experience behind them, and a deep commitment to providing the kind and quality of care required, it was no surprise that some 2,500 of the 20,000 long term care bed licenses issued by the province were awarded to Dan and Donna's company, Regency Care.
What was once a small family business was now getting out of hand. Rather than five homes which they could oversee personally, they are now operating 17 homes of about 160 beds each.
Ten of these homes they owned themselves and another 7 homes they operate on behalf of others. How were they going to take thirty years of caring experience and spread it out so that it could benefit as many as 2,500 long-term care residents?
... a small family business was now getting out of hand .. How were they going to take thirty years of caring experience and spread it out so that it could benefit as many as 2,500 long-term care residents?
One area that they identified as being a significant issue for the managers in each home was the control and monitoring of the building environment. Ventilation, air temperature, lighting, refrigeration and water temperatures all have to be controlled and monitored in order to provide a consistent, comfortable and safe environment for the residents. Consistent environmental control within specified limits is both a government standards requirement, and a management concern for Regency
Care in order that they can control utility costs.
Regency Care Corporation is responding to |
the growing need for affordable long term
health care facilities by using building
automation technology to reduce costs
and improve safety.
Regency's solution has been to install automated building control systems in each home. The systems can be set to control all of the factors that affect the residents' comfort and safety. Hot water must not be too hot, or too cold, lights must be dimmed at the appropriate hour, food refrigeration temperatures need to be kept within limits and the list goes on.
Automatic control systems were certainly part of the answer. However, if the on site care staff still had to monitor the operation of the building control systems and take action if they failed, Regency would not have achieved their original goal of freeing the staff to focus solely on the delivery of patient care.
The other piece of the solution of course is monitoring. Alarm systems have existed for some time, where head office would receive a phone call when operating parameters go out of range. But there is a better solution.
The Idimax service, which they now subscribe to for $150 per month, per building, maintains an online log of all building control parameters.
The building's environmental data is collected from the control systems by the Idimax unit and it is then forwarded via high speed Internet to the Idimax web server were it is logged and made available to Regency Care for inspection at any time of the day or night.
"I personally log onto the Idimax site everyday, to monitor the status of each home" says Dan, "If any parameter goes out of range I can take immediate action." Dan went on to explain that the managers in each home were very happy to be relieved of the responsibility of monitoring the environmental control system. Having the data available from all the homes accessible from head office gives Regency Care reassurance that they are delivering the kind of service, and care, that they have taken pride in for the past thirty years.
For more information about Regency Care visit www.regencycare.ca , and for Idimax data monitoring services visit: www.idimax.com .