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“A customer is the most important person in our business.

They are not dependent on us, we are dependent on them.

They are not an interruption on our work.
They are the purpose of it.

They are not an outsider on our business.
They are a part of it.

We are not doing them a favor by serving them.

They are doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to
do so.”

Mahatama Gandhi


New Services: Check in Feature
Social Monitoring or routine “checking in” is not new. It is a different level of medical alarm utilization, ....harder to manage. Until we had the VRI 400 and a better Care Center we were not comfortable promoting it. VRI has the skills and ability to manage this properly.

This means a client can be checked on (called) if they fail to respond to a pre-scheduled pre – programmed check in time. This can be done up to 4 times a day. At the pre set time the VRI 400 unit sounds a series of short and long beeps which require the client to acknowledge within a few minutes by pushing the Personal Help Button or the Help button on the unit itself. If the client does not respond the unit sends in a “check in”
message to the Care Center, and they call.

Many clients do not want this service. However, for vulnerable people living alone with no social network it has
value. The beauty of the VRI 400 unit is when a client is going to the store, doctor, etc. they can click the AWAY button and avoid false alarm calls.

This option costs more. The cost per month will be $49.00. Install is unchanged. This will be added to the fax referral form on the web site.

New Remote Phone Answering
Answering the phone can be a fall risk for some folks. We can easily remedy this by having a client push the
PHB (Personal Help Button) from wherever they are and answer the phone and talk through their medical alarm unit. We now have a unit where this works well. This and the “check in” option will be added to the web referral form.

New Voice over Internet Unit
Most medical alarms will not work when people install Vonage, etc. “VOIP”. We now have in addition to the wireless/cell box a hard wired unit which works almost as well as a traditional PERS. We will begin to test both options for the VOIP clients.

New Alarm: Med Ready
We have had good success with the Med Ready. It is very functional, reliable and relatively easy to manage. However, the alarm is very high pitched, people with high tone deafness don’t hear the alarm well even though there is a red flashing light to back up the alarm. We now have access to a lower pitched alarm on the Med Ready. It is not standard. If you think a client will not hear the high pitched alarm, let us know and we will install this alternative unit at the same cost as the standard.

The Med Ready can be monitored similar to the IMD2 with either a modem and caregiver website, or live 24/7 with real people via a PERS unit.

Wireless PERS: Update
Since the recall of the Secure Alert Mobile Pal many clients were thrown into unprotected territory. Fortunately the wireless PERS with the Cell Box (2 units) is an alternative which case managers have used for clients all over Colorado. Some common questions we get asked are:

  1. Does the client need a phone line?
    A: No
  2. Is it mobile and portable?
    A: No, the range is 80 to 100 yards. The client wears a Personal Help Button (PHB) just like any other medical alarm or “lifeline” unit.
  3. Does it work anywhere?
    A: Almost. It has worked in Cortez, Durango, Denver, Buena Vista (very remote area), Meeker, and the entire Front Range. However it did not work in Blanca or in the very SE corner of the San Luis Valley. It works on
    the Cingular network or where there is a GSM cell service.
  4. Does the client need a cell phone?
    A: No. All they need is an electrical outlet.
  5. Does this work as well as a wired PERS unit?
    A: It may and it may not. The comparison is the same as your cell phone compared to a wired telephone. It is subject to all the benefits and draw-backs of cell phone technology.

The demand for these has exploded and we had a hard time getting the units. This meant our installations have not been as quick as normal. By the time you get this newsletter we will be back to normal and caught up with sufficient units to get the wireless units installed as scheduled. There should never again be a waiting list.


Northstar Home Medical Phone Directory
Office 7:30 - 5, M-F
Phone: 218.365.5952
Toll Free: 877.365.5952

FAX 24/7

Anders Nicholson
Cell Phone: 218.349.3103

Marnie Kemmettmueler
Cell Phone: 763.443.5815
Home/Fax: 763.3425.9468
(Please call before faxing)


© 2008, Northstar Home Medical, Inc.