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Many patients require nursing care when they least expect it, more predictable is the fact that in the future an increasing number of people will be reliant on care, and many of them will also suffer from dementia. Currently there are around 2.5 million people living in Germany who are in need of care. By 2030, the number is expected to increase to 3.4 million. As a result, forward-thinking hospitals are already making provisions.
For example, the healthcare organisation Vest-Klinikverbund in North Rhine-Westphalia is currently equipping its newly built and renovated hospitals with AAL technologies by Hager. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) solutions help nursing staff by allowing them to focus more on their actual job. For the hospitals, they are an important mark of quality and a way of differentiating themselves in the healthcare market. Plus, they allow dementia patients to move more freely around the building without putting themselves or others in danger.
At some of the organisation’s hospitals, e.g. the Knappschaftskrankenhaus Recklinghausen and the Paracelsus-Klinik Marl, patients will be able to rely on a special service in future: The hospitals’ ‘comfort rooms’ are fitted with the disorientation protection system my.connect, produced by a Hager subsidiary Locate Solution.
The system is based on a combination of RFID chips and long-range readers that inform nursing staff as soon as a disoriented patient leaves the protected hospital area. “Our comfort rooms are not used by patients with orientation or dementia problems only,” explains Dennis Knoop, head of strategic IT at Klinikum Vest GmbH, “… the AAL technologies by Hager are pre-installed, so we can make them available at any time to patients who need AAL support.”
As well as the two aforementioned hospitals, two further buildings at the Klinikum Westfalen hospital will be equipped with AAL technology, and it will later be rolled out to other locations. “Given that it is currently difficult to find quality nursing staff, our systems make life significantly easier for existing nurses,” says Stephan Kreutzer, Head of Business Development AAL at Hager Group. Instead of always being busy with supervisory tasks, staff can spend more time caring for the patients and tending to their actual needs. “Intelligent AAL technologies are not about using more equipment; they are about providing more personal care and individual support. This is exactly what patients and staff need.”