Screening tech frees ARC nurses to care

December 1, 2021

A nurse has helped develop a self check-in kiosk to screen visitors and staff at aged residential care (ARC) facilities for COVID-19 symptoms.

Florence
Florence
Corrie Bronkhorst
Corrie Bronkhorst

The “Florence” technology – named after health and safety pioneer Florence Nightingale – has been installed at 23 Radius Care ARC facilities around the country.

Visitors and staff must sign in and out and have their temperature scanned as well as answer a series COVID-19 screening questions.

Radius Care registered nurse and quality manager Corrie Bronkhorst – who helped design the kiosk – said “overnight” the pandemic created the need to ensure nobody was bringing in the virus. This heaped more administration on nurses, taking them way from their “real work”.

“Essentially there was a full-time nurse checking people in – it was a necessary but poor use of limited nursing resources,” Bronkhorst said. “They had to ask about close contacts, locations of interest and they had to do it again if the person came the next day.”

Florence now did all those tasks, she said.

Bronkhorst helped inform the design of the technology, to ensure it integrated new thermal scanning and contact-tracing requirements. Florence maps contacts, locations of interest and family members, as well as handling sign in and outs, asking relevant health questions and checking temperatures. If an alert is triggered, the visitor will be denied entry and be referred to a staff member. Visitors are given QR codes and it will soon integrate vaccine passports also, she said.

Freed from the administration, nursing staff were “really happy getting back to the floor so they can look after our residents”.