An intelligent solution for effective, high-quality geriatric care

What is the added value of a fall detection system? How does the ISA system (Intelligent Sensing for Ageing) enable nursing homes and hospitals to stand out? KU Leuven’s Faculty of Economics and Business have carried out a fascinating analysis.
Both severe and slow falls remain a major area of concern, both for nursing homes and hospitals. They affect elderly patients with a mental or physical infirmity that fall close to their beds or in their bathrooms.
The Fall Detection System ISA
If a fall occurs, the medical and nursing staff needs to intervene as quickly as possible in order to limit serious consequences. A recent analysis carried out by KU Leuven attempted to establish whether the ISA system (Intelligent Sensing for Ageing) can provide added value.
A comparative simulation
Does the fall detector ISA have an impact on working efficiency? In order to answer this question, the analysis carried out by KU Leuven simulated an average night shift at both a nursing home and a hospital. The researchers then compared this approach with its usual night-time rounds to an alarm system based on the fall detection system ISA.
More time for treatment
What did they learn? When ISA is used, the distance covered by the nursing team decreases when the number of adverse events is less than 3. The staff can devote more time to care.
Less falls go unnoticed
As less falls go unnoticed, the care team needs to intervene more frequently if ISA is in use. It is therefore probable that the distance covered will be higher if an ISA fall detector is installed.
This depends, of course, considerably on how the department is organised. From a certain number of falls onwards, however, the distance covered during a so-called ‘classical’ night shift with rounds will be higher. And this will be at the expense of the quality of the care provided.

Improved quality of care

Nevertheless, even when there are a high number of falls, the analysis highlights the arguments in favour of using ISA. The explanation for this is as follows: as the medical team can react to the alert directly, a call system based on ISA reduces considerably the time that passes between the incident (the fall) and the intervention by the care team. This results in higher standards of care and, as a result, multiple positive effects.
  • Cost reduction relating to hospitalisations:
  • In the case of bed sores, for example, elderly people who cannot get up by themselves remain lying on the ground for a shorter period of time.
  • The medical and therefore also financial consequences of fractures, wound care and serious psychological repercussions can be minimised.
  • An improvement in staff well-being:
    • The care team has peace of mind – they know that no fall will escape ISA’s notice and that they would be able to intervene in time if a fall occurs.
    • If all the parties involved are motivated and support the project in a suitable way, ISA can influence the underlying relationships between the nursing staff, the paramedics and the doctors in a positive way.
  • Attractiveness of care institutions:
    • Nursing homes that install ISA make a clear statement that the safety and autonomy of their residents are important. These are strong arguments for future residents and their families, as well as being a guarantee of higher occupancy rates in the future.
    • ISA enables hospitals to provide a better quality of care, which benefits both patients and referring doctors. This can be an advantage when it comes to federal subsidies.
    • Moreover, ISA can help nursing homes and hospitals to find competent nursing staff and to maintain their levels of work satisfaction.
A solution worthy of interest
In a nutshell, the ISA system can improve work efficiency. This depends considerably on the internal organisation of the nursing home or the department that installs it. A further key factor is the number of incidents that take place. Nevertheless, this fall detector has an undeniable influence on the quality of care which results in both financial and occupational benefits.
Source: B. De Moor, V. Engels, V. Papeleu V, B. Sebrechts, S. Wouters. (2019). Cost-benefit analysis of the ISA MintT system, Faculty of Economics and Business, KU Leuven

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