The wonders of technology are finding their way into nursing facilities and making them safer and more comfortable for their residents.

Unobtrusive Security

Cameras and locked security systems keep track of visitors who enter and exit the premises. These systems allow staff at the facility to be sure that residents stay safe without taking away from the homey atmosphere. Many homes also have secure doors which are opened with codes or cards, so that patients with Alzheimer’s cannot wander out, but residents don’t hear keys unlocking and locking doors and they don’t feel that they are closed in. Hallways and exits can also be secured with light beams which turn on when a resident leaves his room.

Electronic Health Records

Technology takes the guesswork out of health care. Electronic health records contain accurate patient data from all specialties, so that patients get the best care. They include information such as sensitivity to medications, previous or pre-existing conditions and current medical orders. For instance, when a nurse knows that a specific patient is prone to falls, she can be more careful when moving her and prevent another fall. Patients can be monitored in real-time and priority given to patients that need care the most, before they are in distress.

Scheduling Staff

We tend to think of manpower management as a human resources issue, but when health care providers are involved, a staff shortage can easily affect the health of the residents in a facility. There are systems which send out messages via phone and email automatically when short-term staff are needed. Technological solutions allow nurses to self-schedule, but only for roles they are qualified for. And patient alignment tools allow supervisors to assign tasks to specific staff, so nothing falls between the cracks.

These are just some of the ways that technology is improving the safety and care of residents in nursing facilities. In recent years, technology has made unbelievable strides in every area of life, so it stands to reason that we will soon see technological solutions to additional problems in elder care.

How would you like to see senior care improved through technology?