Wandering Patient – A phenomenon that needs more than door locks and cameras

Patient Wandering system

A system to prevent wandering must be put in place to reduce the tragic loss of life.

21st Century has a unique problem – prolonged human life expectancy.

Globally, population aged 60 or over is growing faster than any other age group. The number of older persons — those aged 60 years or over will be 2.1 billion in 2050.  Baby boomers are retiring, and communities are realizing the need to rapidly expand and enhance the healthcare system to serve the older adults.

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Aging population means rise in the number of adults who suffer from dementia. One of the most worrisome symptoms of disease like dementia is wandering; a dementia patient tends to wander away from home or the long-term care facility. Various studies have revealed that up to 31% of nursing home residents wander at least once. Wandering can be triggered by environment around the elderly or confusion caused in their mind of due to a medical condition/medication.

When it comes to safeguarding residents at a long-term care facility, there must be a balance between resident safety and residents’ personal freedom. LTC facilities must adopt mechanisms and technology that will decrease the risk of patient wandering and elopement. There are various technologies available in the market, one of them is Active RFID which provides real-time location and visibility of residents using patient tags and RFID readers & receivers. Active RFID compliments existing security techniques to ensure robust and real-time safety of the residents. GuardRFID’s Wandering Patient Safety solution is a flexible RFID solution that can be setup to provide real-time room level safety as well as facility-wide protection to prevent wandering.

GuardRFID’s Active RFID platform sends out real-time audio/visual notifications using alarms and strobe lights to alert staff of imminent danger to a resident. Staff also receives notifications on their desktop and phones in real-time. Besides notifications, automated door lock down prevents a resident leaving the facility or a designated zone. Many facilities do not want loud alarms or sounds that will distract or agitate other residents. The system is flexible enough to create staff alerts without causing panic among other residents.

GuardRFID’s Wandering Patient Safety creates a non-invasive RTLS environment using Active RFID that enhances the safety of residents, prevents wandering, and ensures that  caregivers are able to provide best care and be compliant with policies of the organization.