There is no question that, in senior care facilities, staff must be able to communicate with each other in seconds, not minutes.
Top assisted living providers know that a reliable phone system is crucial for staff caring for elderly residents who often struggle with chronic health challenges and frequent health emergencies.
EnGenius Technologies has had the privilege of delivering to many of these providers state-of-the-art phone solutions in response to serious problems with aging phone systems. Check out these testimonies.
Brookdale Senior Living, Inc.
Brookdale, the nation’s largest assisted living provider, had an old phone system that was so bad, staff sometimes had to resort to using landlines to forward calls to staff cell phones.
It was a mess.
Brookdale has approximately 1,121 retirement facilities in 47 states, a 103,000 resident capacity, and more than 82,000 associates.
Its Sterling House communities, located across the country, were using 11‐ to 14‐year‐old Avaya Trans Talk wireless phones. The phones were not reliable, and the coverage was spotty.
To solve the problem, Brookdale needed to deploy the EnGenius DuraFon 1X and DuraFon PRO systems. The phones worked perfectly with Brookdale’s existing phone system, allowing staff to take calls from residents quickly and easily no matter where they were on the property.
Brookdale telecommunications specialist, Michael White, was impressed.
“The one thing we don’t hear complaints about is coverage,” he said. “The phones work great. No matter where our staff members are on the community grounds, they’re able to take and make phone calls. The ability to use the DuraFon as a walkie‐talkie is a nice added feature for our staff because whenever an emergency arises, they simply press one button and there are three other people who can provide immediate assistance.”
DuraFon phones have become critical to operations at Brookdale. “Cordless phones used to be a convenience when we had the Trans Talk phones, added White. “But because the staff now relies so much on the EnGenius phones as a life safety issue, they have become a necessity.”
Cedar Hill Continuing Care Community
Earl Knight, director of maintenance and life safety for Cedar Hill, was frustrated with the center’s wireless phone coverage across the massive property.
The Cedar Hill Vermont campus includes 40 apartments, a 39-bed skilled-nursing facility, a 20-bed specialized memory care center, a café, a greenhouse, activity spaces, and outdoor gardens. The abundance of space placed significant demands on wireless phone connection.
In remote areas of the campus, phone connections could not always be established. Staff were sometimes unreachable. Calls were lost.
Even in the central building, phone coverage was so unreliable at the ends of long hallways, nurses were forced to run down hallways, up stairways, and across the grounds to speak in person or find a viable connection.
Knight experimented with different consumer phone models and cordless signal boosters. None could do the job.
Knight’s search for a phone system with long-distance capability led him to EnGenius industrial cordless phone solutions, specifically the DuraFon 1X single-line system known for its long-range connectivity and durability.
It turned out to be the perfect choice for Cedar Hill.
Just one base unit placed at the main building’s nurse’s station could maintain a signal even to the farthest reaches of the Cedar Hill campus.
Knight avidly recommends DuraFon to other senior living communities because of its emergency access and long-distance capabilities. The staff is comfortable with the system and customer service has been top notch. “It solved our problems,” said Knight.
Sentara Life Care Corporation
Headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, Sentara operates more than 100 sites of care including outpatient campuses, urgent care centers, advanced imaging centers, ambulances, home health and hospice services, rehab and therapy centers, and nursing/assisted living centers. The 120-year-old non-profit organization manages three medical groups and employs a medical staff of 3,680.
Sentara operates three assisted living villages in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Combined, the three Sentara Village facilities can provide services for up to 230 residents.
According to Steven Minter, director of operations for Sentara, reliable communications between the nurses and each of the three 34,000 square-foot sites was key.
“As spread out as our assisted living facilities are, it is important for our nursing staff to be able to be reachable at a moment’s notice at all times, no matter where they are on the premises,” Minter explained. “They need to be able to respond to a call bell from a resident immediately and provide the resident some assurance without having to interrupt the task that they’re working on.”
Sentara needed a new system that would allow nurses to receive call bell notifications as well as phone calls on a single device.
“Our previous system did not have that functionality and we knew that there had to be some technology out there that would give us that capability in one device.”
The ideal solution involved pairing the EnGenius DuraFon PRO system with a nurse call system from Jeron Electronic Systems. Sentara deployed 20 rugged PRO handsets across the three assisted-living facilities.
“The nurses are very pleased,” explained Minter. “We’ve never had any problems with them being out-of-range, which is particularly impressive given our expansive properties.” Minster also said Sentara is so pleased with the performance of the DuraFons, they plan to provide handsets to their maintenance personnel as well.
“The customers are responded to more quickly, while outside calls and our internal customers get their needs met,” added Minter. “The EnGenius DuraFon is certainly one of the tools that we’re using to make for a better patient experience.”
What’s Next for You?
Do you have assisted living clients? Do you run a senior care facility that is long overdue for a phone system upgrade? Take a look at our rugged, durable, long-range telecom solutions, and let us know how we can help.
EnGenius Phone Systems continue to push the limits of telecom innovation by introducing two brand new voice solution phone brands—the Freestyl SIP and the DuraFon Roam. The FreeStyl SIP system is an elegant, flexible, and powerful solution for large environments that require users to be mobile and still communicate effectively. The DuraFon Roam comes with multiple base units if needed to extend range and maintain connection.