The outbreak of COVID-19 has presented Australia’s aged care sector with some unique challenges, and visitation is chief among them. Many residents, family members, friends and community members are feeling confused as aged care providers rush to implement new safety measures.
One of the key changes is the new Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes, a set of guidelines the Federal Government adopted in May. At this stage, more than 1000 cases of coronavirus have been linked to 61 aged care facilities around the country, and statistics show the virus is most dangerous to the elderly members of our community. Safety of residents is paramount; however, we know that social connections are critical for healthy ageing. That means visitation remains essential.
The Code is designed to minimise the risk that the virus will be introduced and spread in residential care homes, while ensuring residents can still receive visitors. Technology is critical to implementation, to ensure changes like screening questions, temperature checks, visitation limits, and other measures, can be implemented efficiently and effectively to protect residents. It also ensures providers can meet their obligations around contact tracing, by keeping records that are both accurate and easily accessible.
Many facilities are simply not equipped with the right systems to allow visitation while complying with the responsibilities set out in the Code. The unfortunate truth is that in many cases it’s simply easier to keep people out, and deny visitation, than take on the risk of getting something wrong.
Implementing visitor access requirements
LoopLearn has developed a sign-in management technology called LoopKiosk, which enables residential care facilities to meet their duty of care with a simple, cost-effective and time-saving solution. Our technology enables aged care providers to automatically take an accurate temperature reading, and to ask screening questions of all visitors, volunteers, and contractors, and immediately save the answers into a digital log. It can also provide helpful notifications to ensure access requirements are valid for each guest on site, such as evidence of flu vaccination or a police check, ensuring risk mitigation and compliance protocols can be rolled out efficiently.
Our proprietary facial recognition technology, purpose built to comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, creates a seamless and efficient ID check and sign in process for each person, including touch-free sign in/out for staff and residents, mitigating the risk of infection spreading. LoopKiosk can also be used as a customisable display noticeboard, sharing informative messages about things such as hand hygiene.
Importantly, it gives facilities the option to use visitor schedule functionality and apply visitor limits for each resident, based on safety requirements at any given time. This supports aged care providers in anticipating the total number of visitors expected on any given day, managing the duration of their visit, and removing the difficult administration burden of ensuring that visits per resident limits are being complied with.
The supporting LoopLearn software ensures that immediate and informative notifications and alerts can be sent to nominated staff members. No matter where they are on site, staff can be confident that people access requirements are adhered to and response processes can be activated immediately, whether it’s a high temperature alert or if someone has overstayed their visit time, to help them keep their facilities and communities safe.
Complying with the new aged care guidelines
Complying with the new aged care health directives isn’t just about reducing liability; it’s about saving lives. There are a few questions you should keep in mind in choosing your technology partner:
- Is this system compliant with all the latest public health guidelines?
- How is information protected and secured and how is privacy guaranteed?
- Can this system eliminate manual recording and provide comprehensive digital logs?
- Will this system improve processes around hand hygiene and mitigating risk of infection spread?
- Does this system facilitate the flow of information in real-time to mitigate risk?
- Is this solution simple and easy for people of all ages to operate?
- How will this solution impact our bottom line?
For more information, please visit www.looplearn.net/for-health-and-safety/