Video assessments to support disabled bathers and OTs – new from Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions
To enhance its customer-focused approach, Abacus Specialist Bathroom Solutions has introduced an online video assessment service so disabled bathers and Occupational Therapists can be supported without the need for home visits.
Part of the Gainsborough Healthcare Group, Abacus is a trusted manufacturer and installer of power-assisted baths and accessible bathrooms. Its proven products, including the award-winning Gemini 2000 bath, provide safe and comfortable bathing for disabled users and reduce awkward lifting and transfers for carers. Each bath provides unique features such as variable height, integrated changing platform, powered bather transfer seat and postural supports – all focused on providing a positive experience and better wellbeing. The appropriateness of these features is assessed on an individual basis through the expertise of an Abacus Regional Assessor who works closely with families, carers and Occupational Therapists. To offer safety and peace of mind during the Covid-19 outbreak, Abacus is now able to recommend the ideal bathing solution through video conferencing so face-to-face visits are not required.
Many vulnerable people are currently shielding or limiting contact from visitors so the risk of infection is minimised. Hence Abacus has launched its video assessment service which is available through software such as WhatsApp and Zoom. These web-based applications allow Abacus Assessors to efficiently discuss individual bather needs with everyone involved with care, irrespective of where they live. This means more people can be involved during the assessment process so faster outcomes can be achieved and without travel time.
“Our Zoom video call was useful in that it helped fine-tune requirements for the client. The family were involved as well and the physiotherapist so we could discuss the types of baths available and which one would be the most suitable. We were also able, with the Abacus Assessor’s extensive knowledge, to look at postural management systems as the client has specific needs – these were uploaded during the call.”
“Although we originally thought it would be a good idea to just have a demonstration of the Gemini online, having good information on your website also meant the family had a look beforehand and then were able to ask a lot of questions post the demonstration. They are keen to go ahead and order a Gemini 2000 bath following the Zoom meeting.”
– Zoe Cocksedge, Independent Occupational Therapist.
Abacus sets up each video meeting as an appointment with a specific time and date which is agreed by all –attendees just simply join. In addition to understanding how a client ‘presents’, video technology allows the Abacus Assessor and OT to see the intended bath location and review its suitability. Conversely clients and therapists can see a range of potential baths during the call which are operated by the Assessor from within an Abacus demonstration vehicle. Every other aspect of the assessment process using video is the same as a traditional home visit as Abacus uses its established, clinical checklist.
Peter Eckhardt, CEO, Gainsborough Healthcare Group, says:
“Abacus continues to be an adaptable brand focused on meeting the changing needs of our customers. Video assessments are our latest service which, I’m delighted to say, are already starting to make a difference and help bathers in difficult situations. Add to this the efficient access it provides Occupational Therapists, we believe video assessments will become commonplace in the future. Of course, we will still provide home visits if preferred whilst strictly following all safety guidelines, however this new technology-based option gives greater choice and flexibility to everyone.”
Once assessment, approval and delivery are organised, Abacus continues with its adapted service by installing baths following its new ‘Protection Promise‘. Its specialist fitters are equipped with PPE and follow strict disinfecting and social distancing protocols. Ultimately this means disabled bathers and carers can continue to benefit from accessible bathing in the community, reduce the risk of injuries and alleviate pressure on the NHS.