Smart generation at Cranbrook Care

Staff are able to take meal orders online.

This article is part of our showcase of the 2019 Future of Ageing Awards. Cranbrook Care won the category for Technology – Business.

Cranbrook Care created ‘Smart Generation’ IT solutions in their new-build homes that include WiFi access, VOIP phones and Smart TVs with in-house information channels, Foxtel, free-to-air TV and digital radio channel broadcast for residents, iPads and Smart Phones for staff, Building Management Systems (BMS) for air-conditioning, CCTV for security and a nurse call system that works across the facility.

These upgrades now being rolled out across Cranbrook Care’s existing homes now that the initial trials have been successful.

Project Overview

The high-level objective of the project was to achieve an effective and comprehensive IT infrastructure rollout that would improve the lives of everyone using it, while also saving time, money and energy.

Cranbrook Care worked with IT consultants experienced in Aged Care IT infrastructure, but also drew on the relevant experiences from other industry sectors such as hospitality, catering, allied health and property management.

Cranbrook Care reviewed the marketplace thoroughly to produce a holistic IT infrastructure that would significantly impact residents and set the best standard for aged care.

Systems were built off-site and thoroughly tested prior to completion of the buildings to ensure all systems could be deployed smoothly from day one.

How it came together

After the correct technologies were identified in partnership with IT consultants and contractors, Crestron touch panels were installed in lounge areas to allow for easy control of TVs.

Sonos music system in the lounge and dining areas


Sonos (sound systems) are installed in all lounge and dining areas and set up to automatically play throughout the day.

Timely, private communication is provided with a VOIP phone available for every resident which is enabled to receive direct dial calls. The phone will auto answer on speaker phone from an internal residence number calling.

Annunciators throughout the residence were removed and were only installed at the nurses stations. Staff receive calls directly to their smart phones, no matter where they are, without having to find an annunciator in the corridor. The system also integrates movement sensors so that staff can be alerted when residents make certain movements.

The residences are now monitored by CCTV/DVR cameras, which executive staff can access from any workstation. In addition, a screen is installed at each nurses station with a rotating view of all cameras.

The residences are controlled using a Dynalite control system which controls the light levels throughout the day and night. This ensures the residence mood is comfortable and automated whilst maintaining security for the residents in terms of adequate light levels. It also aids the sun downing process as the lights naturally transition throughout the day.

Each suite is individually climate-controlled with a range of standard settings based on current temperature, time of year and reported resident comfort levels. Residents have the ability to make changes in their suite. Staff utilise the air conditioning controller to regulate any area’s temperature via any workstation in the residence.

Cranbrook Care also built an online portal for residents’ families to login and order loved ones’ meals. Families are also able to use the system to book a private dining area and order guest meals.

Residents give staff their personalised orders which are directly entered into the system by staff using their smart phones.

Every staff member is assigned a smart phone at the beginning of their shift, allowing them access to the nurse call system, clinical care package, food ordering package, intercom and phone function anywhere in the residence. An important feature of using the smart phones is that the nurse call alerts are accessed through the smart phone, with annunciators around the residence reduced to just in the nurses’ stations. Care staff complete documentation at the point of care using the clinical care package app.

Tablets are also used by care staff in the management of wounds and medication. Staff can document wounds straight into the clinical care package at the point of care, including taking photos and loading them directly.

Electronic access control has been deployed throughout the residence in preference to keys.

Movements can be audited and access to medical equipment and medication can be controlled and monitored. Access profiles are established within zones and can easily be changed on a scheduled or ad hoc basis.

Residents’ and guests’ individual meal orders are printed on a standard, docket printer in the kitchen. The print-out shows special requests and allergies and ensures that all residents receive the meals they order, personalised to their individual likes and needs.

Fridge monitoring equipment has been installed on all fridges/cool rooms and freezers to ensure there’s no energy wastage.

Cranbrook Care also engaged a software company to build a lifestyle booking platform for services such as physiotherapy, hairdressing and beautician.

Outcomes

The smart phones have increased efficiency as staff are able to document on the go, acknowledge nurse calls, take phone calls and respond to intercoms after hours all without having to return to a workstation. This also leads to better care and support for our residents as more time is available to spend with residents and documentation is made immediately, increasing its accuracy rather than waiting until there is time to attend a workstation.

The property services team is finding the BMS invaluable as they are alerted as soon as there is an issue with the plant or equipment, allowing them to investigate and fix the issue immediately, before it escalates or has an effect on residents.

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