Using Technology to Ensure Client Safety During Rehab

Client Safety in Rehab

Client safety is essential, especially during detox. To support our mission of providing the highest quality care, Discovery Point Retreat is one of the first addition treatment centers to incorporate innovative EarlySense technology to enhance client safety and comfort.

What Is EarlySense? 

EarlySense technology is a monitoring device that tracks clients’ vital signs unobtrusively. EarlySense is a sensor-based technology that slides underneath underneath the mattress. It’s wireless, so clients are not connected to sensors, cables, or cords, allowing them to move freely throughout the day and night. This non-invasive technology automatically sends updates to our central nursing hub — tracking heart and respiration rates in real-time, enabling them to respond immediately in case of an emergency. 

EarlySense gives our medical team an idea of who is getting quality rest, and who may need more attention during the detox period.This allows our clinical team to treat clients individually throughout the detoxification process quickly and efficiently.

Nick Fleming-Wood, Vice President of EarlySense, highlights the most important benefit of EarlySense technology:

“Continuous monitoring clients have better treatment outcomes than those who do not.”

Learn more about how we’re using EarlySense at Discovery Point Retreat in this panel discussion featuring members of our clinical team and the Vice President of EarlySense.

The Earlysense Process

Nick Fleming-Wood explains the Early Sense process in more detail: 

“Data collection is simple. A sensor goes underneath the client’s mattress— they can’t even feel it. But we can monitor both heart and respiratory rate. Results are transferred to the nurse’s station, and from this position they can see every client in the building. If they’re in or out of bed, and how long they’ve been in bed for. 

“More importantly it gives peace of mind knowing how to distribute medical resources to provide quality care for all clients. Nurses all have pagers that will alert nurses for increases or decreases in vitals.

“In the detox and recovery industry, changes in respiration can be enmeshed in client mental health (resulting in physiological reactions): anxiety may raise heart rate, and our therapists can respond accordingly.

“The real goal is to get someone into the room and have a conversation with the client to find out what their needs are.”

What Are the Adverse Effects of Earlysense?

Because EarlySense is not intrusive and is never in direct contact with clients, there are no health risks associated with using EarlySense technology.

Nick Fleming-Wood allays safety concerns, saying “There are no negative side effects from EarlySense— it’s really just making the decision to commit to the client safely.” 

How Do You Not Lose Track of Each Client Personally? 

Keeping track of clients through the entire detox process is absolutely essential to successful recovery. EarlySense ensures no one falls through the cracks. EarlySense is a new technology Discovery Point Retreat is implementing for excellence in client safety and quality care. 

The nursing staff of rehabilitation centers without EarlySense technology have to go from client to client checking vitals manually every 15 minutes. With EarlySense, monitoring is always in real-time and helps our nursing staff dedicate their time where it’s needed most. Nursing staff are also able to customize each patient’s monitor and alerts allowing for completely personalized care and better response times, while also minimizing false alarms.

Which is not to say clients who are resting well do not receive attention. However, those who are peacefully at rest may remain undisturbed because of the metrics that are continually fed to our central nursing station —  ensuring individualized safety for all. Clients with access to quality care and continual monitoring recover faster when compared to those who do not have access to the same technology.

Greg Powers, Clinical Director of Discovery Point Retreat, reveals his approach and core philosophy behind addiction treatment:

“Here at DPR it’s the client first. We help clients feel comfortable to come to recovery. Part of that is taking the effort and time in getting to really know that client — including their anxieties and personal struggles. We try to encompass holistic treatment for clients and their loved ones — really taking a look at their fears and concerns, and helping them through the recovery process. 

“It starts with all of our staff: this is a person, not a diagnosis. If you were in their shoes, how would you want to be treated? What would you expect? We humanize clients. Clients aren’t just just another number, they’re people with families, just like us.

“Our clients are family. It’s a matter of what if that was your brother, mother, or sister? What kind of treatment would you want for them? That’s how we treat everyone who walks through the door at Discovery Point Retreat.“

Incorporating Technology into Addiction Treatment

Discovery Point Retreat is one of the only rehabilitation centers utilizing EarlySense for detox treatment. Integration is seamless, because clients are unburdened from typically intrusive monitoring systems. Our clinical staff integrates emerging technology with excellence in addiction medicine. 

From a medical standpoint, EarlySense gives clinicians and nurses the timely information they need to act quickly. Nick Fleming-Wood weighs in on the integration of treatment and technology, saying “EarlySense is designed to allow caregivers to have another set of eyes and ears on clients. This technology allows the medical team to take care of clients around the building; EarlySense allows staff to do their jobs more thoughtfully, ensuring we know what’s happening with clients around the clock with our global monitoring system.” 

Greg Powers explains how EarlySense gives clients peace of mind: 

“We help clients understand we’re with them. We implement Earlysense so that even though we can’t physically see you 24/7, we’re always with you. When clients come into detox, they’re miserable. They want to sleep. They don’t want to talk to a lot of people, and they want to go to bed. Earlysense allows us to ensure our clients are resting.  Should clients experience a shift in their vitals, our Earlysense technology alerts our medical staff immediately. This includes when clients get out of bed.”

“Our medical team continuously monitors clients for vitals, responding immediately to increases and decreases in heart and respiratory rates. 

“Family members are giving over care of their loved ones to someone else— we don’t take that lightly at all. This technology does not exist for most detox and residential programs at this time (December 2020).”

Detoxification and EarlySense with Discovery Point Retreat 

The detox process can be uncomfortable for clients and inhibit early therapy during initial recovery. With EarlySense technology, clients are able to receive the rest they need without frequent interruptions. This allows clients to sleep as peacefully as possible through the withdrawal process. Detox usually lasts between seven and ten days. Our clients who have included EarlySense in their treatment typically begin therapy a few days before clients without the benefit of EarlySense.

Greg Powers clears the air about taking a nonchalant approach to detox:

“Coming off of drugs and alcohol is very dangerous. You want someone that is continually monitoring you. Our detox program brings the individual in, we discuss what detox is— they’re already not feeling great, and may become a bit ill. We explain, ‘this is what it’s going to look like during the next couple of days; you’re not going to feel great.’

“Prior to having Earlysense, because we know clients aren’t feeling well – and this is a medical situation – we were checking-in every 15 minutes. It’s difficult to get rest with continual disturbances. Earlysense ameliorates that and allows clients to get the rest they need. 

“This allows us to begin meaningfully working with clients and families earlier. We can typically start this process four or five days earlier than we were able to previously.”

The Importance of Medical Monitoring During Detox

Many in need of rehabilitation attempt to complete detox on their own. Detoxing without a medical professional can have devastating effects on one’s body — sometimes causing permanent damage and death. 

From a medical perspective, Brittany Isbell, Nursing Director of Discovery Point Retreat, further underscores the need for medical supervision during detox: 

“Detox is dangerous, especially if you come in on alcohol or benzodiazepines. Clients are seeing things, feeling things — resulting in high respiration, and their hearts can’t keep up. This can last anywhere from one to ten days. Earlysense allows us to know immediately if vitals change drastically. It can mean the difference between life and death.”

How Does Earlysense Improve Client Experience?

Without constant interruptions for clinical monitoring, EarlySense offers peace of mind through continuous monitoring, non-restricted movement, and safety assurance.

Nick Fleming-Wood weighs in on client comfort with EarlySense, 

“The last thing clients want is to be covered in sensors and wires. It inhibits mobility — that’s most of the problem with monitoring technology. Earlysense eliminates this problem, as it operates under the mattress. It is unobtrusive. Clients forget it’s there.

“Present health conditions (ie: diabetes) can interfere with safe detox— that’s why we have to ensure our monitoring is continuous. If you’ve got someone who is breathing more quickly, or someone whose heart rate drops at night, we can personalize alarms without hindering clients, but instantly informing medical staff of client needs in real-time.

“Clients sleep easy knowing they are continuously monitored even without our clinicians with them in their rooms.”

Prioritizing Client Safety

Often families are hesitant to enroll their loved ones into a treatment facility. Here at Discovery Point Retreat we treat our clients like family. Our approach to rehabilitation is a compassionate one, coupled with evidence-based therapies to address the underlying causes of addiction.

Greg Powers talks about reassuring family members admitting their loved ones into recovery:

“Are my loved ones going to be safe when they go to treatment? They may not feel comfortable releasing their loved one into someone else’s care —  it’s scary. We can say all day long “they’ll be safe,” but by having this technology, we can show families and clients we mean what we say. We’re implementing the newest technology to ensure we’re always with you. 

“We’re taking the extra effort making sure everyone is safe; we’re going to get you through this process.”

Family Dynamic and Substance Abuse Treatment 

Families struggling with a loved one suffering from a substance use disorder are put under an inordinate amount of stress. Taking care of an addicted loved one can be a full-time job. Far too often families who take personal responsibility for their loved ones forget to tend to their own emotional needs. 

Admitting someone who needs help into treatment is good for them, and allows families to get help they’ve been missing out on. In fact, treating the entire family is an important aspect of recovery.

Touching on revitalizing clients and their families, Greg Powers explains,

“When addressing the entire family, Earlysense starts healing not only the client, but their loved ones. Allowing family members to redirect responsibilities to the professionals— they’re able to take care of their personal lives. Addiction doesn’t exist in a bubble. It’s a system. We work within the family system. Families typically do everything they can, for better or for worse. 

“Now it’s time for the family to step back and evaluate their role in the lives of their loved ones with substance use disorders. It allows families to reevaluate, decide if they need mental health support, and start taking care of themselves. Sometimes families want to participate in their loved ones’ recovery, and sometimes not. 

“Families need opportunities to talk about their feelings and concerns. Reality hits: clients are coming to treatment here, what does that mean for me? During counseling, clients and loved ones discuss plans for post-recovery and difficult events resulting from addiction.”

Final Thoughts

Choosing rehabilitation is one of the hardest, and best things you can do for yourself. It’s never too early or too late to get help. We meet clients where they’re at and work with them from the ground up to build a stable foundation for lasting recovery.

Many are hesitant to begin recovery because of their anxiety surrounding detox. With EarlySense, clients can have peace of mind that we’re with them 24/7 to help around the clock as needed.

A closing statement from Greg Powers, 

“There’s always room to grow. Being able to take those opportunities and say ‘let’s try this’ — we’re one of the very first facilities to implement this technology into our programs. We have the ability to say we have peace of mind for medical monitoring across the board.”

What Levels of Care Are Available at Discovery Point Retreat? 

How Do I Get EarlySense Treatment? 

Call us directly at 855-306-8054 for all questions and recovery options.


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