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  • Using Tech Integrations to Combat Violence Against Healthcare Workers

  • Violence against healthcare workers is epidemic and vastly underreported, reports Modern Healthcare, following a slew of similar reports by the American Hospital Association, OSHA, CDC and other governing bodies.

    “Daily, literally daily, we’re exposed to violent outbursts, in particular in our emergency rooms,” said Dr. Tom Mihaljevic, president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic, in an interview with the publication. While incidents happen more frequently in emergency rooms and psychiatric units, “no one is at low risk,” shared Dr. Judy Arnetz, a researcher at Michigan State University.

    Solutions aren’t simple, of course, and vary considerably from one organization to another. As hospital leaders try to find the right balance for their organization, many have beefed up security, ramped up staff training and processes, and implemented tools like silent alarms to help prevent the next violent incident.

    According to OSHA, common factors preceding violent incidents include a lack of means of emergency communications.

    With that in mind, it’s worth considering an overlooked solution for increasing the speed, accuracy and reach of emergency notifications among clinicians, administrators, first responders and other select audiences:

    Integrating existing, disparate security and communications systems to enable workers to detect, report and respond to threats instantly.

    Consider the following scenarios:

    Scenario 1: Active shooter or other high-risk threat

    By integrating PC alerts, SMS, pagers, phone systems, mobile app and more (all tools the hospital already has in place) workers can deploy pre-programmed alerts in a variety of formats to chosen audiences with just a click or two.

    If your facility has shot detection technology (such as Shooter Detection Systems), you can also integrate that to fully automate your emergency protocol, so no one has to manually trigger an emergency response. To be clear, if a shot is fired, your shot detection system would sense it, sending an alert to a software (we recommend ours!) that would then alert the rest of your custom response chain.

    Scenario 2: Suspicious activities or threat detected somewhere on campus

    Security staff and administrators can view their entire campus from a single dashboard and deploy responses to any incidents that need their attention before they evolve into full-blown threats. (Visual Campus — a central security hub — is included at no cost with various modules in Layered Solutions’ interface.) Your staff would also have the option to notify and share camera views or campus maps with first responders, instantly.

    It’s worth noting that integrations also allow you to discreetly alert the necessary authorities. For those times when your staff is facing a guest or patient who’s clearly upset, it may be necessary to alert the appropriate personnel in a discreet manner. One way to do that is by clicking on a desktop icon, dialing an extension or hitting a hidden panic button. No need to get on a radio or phone and say “Code XYZ” which might alert the people around you.

    Scenario 3: Need to lock down an area to prevent threats from entering or exiting it.

    In this case, tech integrations would allow your staff to lock down certain building or campus areas via a panic button or central dashboard (like our Visual Campus).

    Again, one considerable benefit integrations carry is that you’re able to vastly increase communications capabilities and automations without having to buy new technologies or upgrades. Instead, an affordable software may be all you need to triple the capabilities of existing systems.