Peace of mind can come in all shapes and sizes. At CKHA, it looks a lot like a watch. Implemented over the last few years, the ELPAS Wander Protection System is a lightweight wrist band that allows patients the freedom to move around their room and floor while keeping them safely within areas of the hospital.

“For a caregiver of someone who tends to wander, like a patient with Alzheimer’s, this small wristband is the difference between knowing the patient is safe, and the caregiver losing sleep at night,” says Shane Helgerman, Director, Medicine/Rehab/CCC/ICU, CKHA. “With an average of two patients a week needing this system, we are providing an exceptional service to patients who need it.”

Once a caregiver identifies the need for the assistance of the ELPAS System, the bracelet is placed on the patient. If the patient wanders near an exit, an alarm with transmit at the Nursing Station. If a patient wanders into an elevator, the doors will not close and the same alarm will trigger. The bracelet also transmits an alarm if an attempt is made to remove it.

“This system is completely customizable for the needs of the patient,” explains Shane. “If the patient needs to be taken to another area for tests, or a family member wants to take the patient outside for a walk, we can suspend the system temporarily. The ELPAS system has really made a difference not only for patients, but for our nursing staff by providing a useful tool to ensure the highest level of safety for all patients and staff in the unit.”

The ELPAS system is currently being used in four areas, including Women & Childrens, where newborn babies are equipped with a special paediatric tracking device. Phase II of this system, at a cost of $51,000, was made possible through the generous support of donors to the Foundation of CKHA.