Walkie talkies are still the best tool for senior living communities to keep in touch with their staff. They're easy to use, and can provide quick access to help when you need it.
With walkie talkies, you can communicate immediately. There’s no need for someone to be available on the phone or in the same room as you. When an urgent situation arises, you don’t have to wait for someone to finish their task or return from another part of your building from wherever they may be located.
With a walkie talkie, all it takes is one push of the PTT button and your message has been heard loud and clear. With this type of communication device, you don’t need a few rings before someone answers the phone or make sure that everyone is quiet so they can hear what's being said on the other end of the line. A simple button push allows you to say your message letting everyone know exactly where they should be headed when something happens at your senior care community.
How can group communication make a difference? The key idea here is that when you call or text someone, you need to wait for them to respond. If you have ever had to wait when you ask a question while it’s urgent this can be very frustrating, right? Calling someone with a device that is group enabled, allows more people (those in the group) to hear that you are looking for someone or an answer to a question. This allows more people to respond. Typically we see a responder providing insight to where the person with the information is and what they are doing. This can provide you with a quicker response.
Another difference is this form of communication gives you the ability to get information out to everyone at one time, much more efficiently than making a call to each individual. Recently, I had a customer tell me that they performed a fire drill at their community. They didn’t use radios. The administrator let me know it took nearly 30 minutes for her to connect with each department to verify the drill went well.
Ease of use
Many times we are told, or sold, on a new product or service that claims to improve some aspect of our organization. But, once we make the decision to purchase this product the real work begins. The product/service sometimes needs to be modified so it will work to our specific needs. We need to identify all the processes and procedures that need to be updated to ensure we will be successful. If this is something new we are implementing, the staff needs to be trained on how to use it. Even after training the staff we need to continually make sure staff is using the new product or service properly.
You have heard from us about all the benefits of using two-way radios. But one thing we have left out is how easy it is to implement and train your staff. From the first day of receiving the radios, you can assign them to staff and immediately you will receive the benefit. When we were young kids, we got to use these types of devices. Who hasn’t played with one whether with the family or at school or some other event. It’s pretty easy, right, turn it on, go to the right channel and press the button to talk. This is a solution that is simple to implement and requires minimal training.
Low costs and versatility
Not only are walkie talkies more affordable than other options, they’re also versatile. Walkie talkies can be used in many different situations and settings and can be used by many people at once. Walkie talkies are easy to use, which is important for staff members who might not have had previous experience with other communication systems or technologies.
In a senior care community, walkie talkies are often the preferred communication tool. They are much more affordable than cell phones, they are easy to use and quick to set up, and they allow for privacy options.
In addition to these factors, it's important for senior care communities to consider the frequency of their staff communications before choosing a form of communication tool. In many cases, senior care communities will have a lot of short bursts of activity where staff need to communicate with each other quickly but do not necessarily need constant contact throughout their shifts. Walkie talkies provide this kind of flexibility by allowing you to use them only when necessary; for example, assigning someone else as your backup if you're busy in another area or telling another staff member that there is something urgent going on at your location without interrupting them while they're working with others who may not be involved in those particular activities right then or else using an intercom system which might be difficult if everyone is spread out over multiple floors (or even buildings).
If you want staff members to be able to communicate with each other wherever they are on a property, then walkie-talkies can be a great solution because you can put them into the hands of all of your staff. There are no monthly fees, just a small upfront equipment purchase compared with buying cell phones.
One of the biggest challenges without radios is the loud overhead paging which can disturb some of your residents. Depending on the size of your community it can almost be a never ending barrage of pages for maintenance, nursing, housekeeping or even admin. Using radios can eliminate that extra noise, using headsets a great number of our communities benefit from having instant and group communication without disturbing others that are not connected to your staff.
Efficiency- Get more done with your existing staff
Did you know that you can get an additional 303 hours per year added to your productivity if your community has walkie talkies or two-way radios. Let me tell you how this works. We conducted a study with the help of Southern Illinois University on how effective staff communication works in senior care communities. We discovered on average you are interrupted between 5 and 9 times per day needing to talk to another employee. This is to get a question answered, to seek additional guidance, or to just find out the situation. Each one of these needs to connect with another employee results in between 10 and 18 minutes before you can return to finish your task. So if we take the average of 5 and 9 times which is 7, and we multiply that by the low end of the range 10 minutes oh, we get 70 minutes a day lost to tracking someone down to ask a quick question. If you multiply that out by 5 days in a week you get 5.8 hours, if you multiply 5.83 hours out by 52 weeks in a year you get 303 hours. Now take That 303 hours and multiply it by $15 an hour and you get 4500 per year. and that is per person so if you have 10 people on your staff that's $45,000 if you have 20 people on your staff that's 90,000.
So what if you don’t have to talk to someone 7 times a day, what if it is only half, you know 3 times a day, you will only save $2250 per person per year. That’s still huge. Remember, good radios only cost about $150 to $300, what a small price to pay for such great gains. And radios, they are super easy to implement.
What does it mean when we say you can get 303 hours per year of additional work completed. By saving this time and not looking for someone or trying to call them or text them, or walking around looking for them, you have more time to work on other things. Likewise, your staff will gain at least 303 hours per year in time saving because they will not be looking for people either.
The bottom line is, walkie talkies are still a great tool for senior care communities. The cost is low, they’re easy to use, and the privacy options allow for direct communication between staff members. Even though there are more modern options out there like cell phones and pagers, walkie talkies still have their place in the world of elder care facilities.