Resident or patient wandering is a common issue within healthcare settings and long-term care facilities. Patients with cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer's, are more likely to wander, increasing their risk of injury and creating greater liabilities for your organization.
Moreover, wandering behavior can cause anxiety and stress among staff and family members.
Overcoming the Challenges of Patient Wandering
In this blog post, we'll discuss why a wander management solution is necessary to address the common challenges of monitoring patient activities while ensuring their safety and dignity.
First, let's review the top 5 challenges of patient wandering.
Challenge 1: Identification
One of the most significant challenges of wander management is identifying patients at risk.
Healthcare providers must be vigilant in assessing patients' cognitive and physical abilities to determine their mobility level. This can be challenging, as some patients may be physically capable of walking but lack the cognitive ability to recognize hazards.
Challenge 2: Continuous Monitoring
Monitoring and staying alert is a crucial aspect of wander management due to the unpredictable nature of this behavior. Nurses must always be alert and ready to respond to prevent injuries and accidents. This becomes even more challenging in long-term care facilities where staff may be limited, and patients are more likely to wander.
Challenge 3: Communication & Response Time
Nurses face various challenges in their daily work, and among them is communication and staying connected.
The nature of their job requires them to be constantly on the move, attending to patients in different parts of your facility. This can make it difficult for them to communicate with each other, leading to delays in patient care and coordination issues.
Challenge 4: Dignity & Respect
Dignity is just as critical to wander management as patient safety. When patients wander, they become disoriented and confused, leading to feelings of frustration and even fear.
As one of the primary goals of healthcare facilities is to provide support and compassion in order to promote the well-being of patients and residents, wander management must be non-intrusive, discreet, and respectful of the patient's privacy.
Challenge 5: Overall Investment
Implementing a complete wander management system typically requires a substantial investment in terms of cost, time, and training.
Healthcare providers must acquire and install advanced technology, such as real-time location systems (RTLS) and access control systems to guarantee the safety of their patients. This can be a financial strain, particularly for smaller healthcare providers, making implementing a comprehensive solution seem impossible.
A Better Solution to Wander Management
Ban-Koe Companies and RF Technologies have joined forces to offer a more comprehensive security solution designed specifically for senior living communities, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities.
The solution includes a range of tools and technologies, such as real-time location and identification tracking, access control integration, and an RFT Care App that keeps nurses and staff connected.
The system also gives residents the discreet option of wearing transmitters on their wrists, reducing wandering while helping staff stay informed and aware of their whereabouts.
Other Benefits Include:
1. Enhanced Patient Safety: The system can help prevent patients from wandering into restricted areas or leaving designated areas, which can help reduce the risk of falls, injuries, and other accidents.
2. Improved Staff Efficiency: By providing real-time location information, the system can help nurses and other healthcare staff locate patients quickly and easily, saving significant time.
Additionally, each patient transmitter is equipped with fall detection technology that immediately alerts staff when a patient or resident falls.
3. Better Communication and Coordination: Nurses will now have an all-in-one platform to communicate with each other, share information about patient status, and coordinate their activities, which can help improve patient care and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
4. Reduced Liability: By helping to prevent patient wandering and attending to falls quickly, the system can help reduce the risk of elopements and other incidents that can result in costly legal action and damage to a healthcare organization's reputation.
5. Customizable Solutions: RF Technologies' wander management system seamlessly integrates with Ban-Koe's vIDIx Control, vIDix Staff Call, and Rescue Assistance, providing a comprehensive technology suite to ensure the safety of patients and peace of mind for your team.