We are witnessing something completely unprecedented. COVID-19, a highly contagious virus has been running rampant across the globe since the beginning of 2020, freezing public life, shaking global economies and contributing to a staggering death toll, especially among elderly in care homes and nursing homes.
With more than 43 million confirmed cases at this time, COVID-19 has not only caused severe trauma in human societies in general — it also pointed out the vital importance of preventive measures in hospitals, nurse homes, care homes and other healthcare institutions. Measures, such as COVID-19 contact tracking, which would offer better insight into how the virus is spreading and how to stop it in its tracks.
Urgent need for infection prevention and control
During times of need healthcare personnel are on the frontlines of such battles in every single country around the world. That is why providing effective individual protection equipment, along with securing the needed resources, the right infrastructure and training is crucial to protect the staff, the patients and the residents.
Infection prevention and control measures have ensured additional protective gear is on disposal for urgent needs, just as certain protocols have gone into effect during the course of this global pandemic. From doctor appointments being revoked to visitation rights being limited. These measures have had serious physical and psychological consequences, especially for elderly people who have not received the needed emotional support.
But still, despite all of these measures, COVID-19 still spreads without stopping in many hospitals and nursing and care homes. The question is, how come and how can we flatten the curve?
How effective is contact tracing?
In the last few months governments have tried to control the spread with COVID-19 contact tracking. Contact tracking is the process of identifying all people that a COVID-19 patient has come in contact with in the last two weeks. Certainly an efficient preventive action, since the symptoms of COVID-19 are not visible in the first days of infection.
But to rely only on the recollection of people is missguided. Numerous daily contacts among staff and residents, closed living and working conditions of these most vulnerable groups make it impossible for contact tracking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, technology has come a long way and more reliable solutions are at hand.
Harnessing the power of artificial intelligence
COVID-19 contact tracking has the potential to control and ultimately stop the spread of the virus, but only if it relies on technology, not on human memory. There are several solutions in use, but we have developed one solution for COVID-19 contact tracking especially for healthcare organizations. It includes the following.
#1 Equipping COVID-19 departments
Quick and easy equipment of temporary COVID-19 departments with wired or wireless nurse call system offering advanced AI prediction and analysis. Digitalized nurse call system ensures better overview of staff, patients or residents and active or completed tasks. Meaning it gives you the possibility to review which contacts were made every moment of the day.
#2 Wireless contact tracking
Each visitor, resident and staff member receives a wireless wearable bracelet. So every contact made inside the hospital, nursing home or care home is recorded, identified and isolated if needed. Every wireless bracelet also enables assistance calls (from residents or among staff) within the same system, while wireless controllers installed around the building help locate individuals.
#3 Monitoring solution
Digitalized automatic temperature measurements and measurements of other vital parameters (including heart rate, SpO2, RR, changes in pressure) can be done completely without staff intervention.
Active prevention is crucial
Technologically advanced COVID-19 contact tracing offers better control and protects the most vulnerable groups in the battle for human lives around the globe. By actively monitoring contacts, which are made between healthcare personnel, patients (residents) or visitors, the risk of the spread drastically reduces, of course with all other preventive measures being carefully implemented and executed by each and every individual that works, resides or visits the premises of hospitals, care homes, nursing homes and other healthcare institutions. But there is no doubt that acting today means fighting for a better tomorrow.