Beyond Nurse Call: A Six-Part Series About How RTLS is Revolutionizing Traditional Caregiver Interactions (Part 5 of 6)

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Nurse call management software has become increasingly sophisticated enabling modern nurse call systems, which were previously manual, to become fully automated through an array of advanced applications.

Among the most important backbone technologies supporting these systems is Real Time Location System (RTLS). Integrating RTLS offers numerous advantages and opportunities to improve efficiencies and patient satisfaction, collect key data and positively impact outcomes. The following is the fifth in a multi-part series describing six ways connected intelligence derived from Real Time Location Systems data is revolutionizing traditional caregiver interactions.

Increase safety of staff and patients

Unfortunately, the incidence of health care workplace violence is on the rise. Most assaults on health care workers are by patients or visitors.(1) More than 70% of emergency nurses reported physical or verbal assaults by emergency patients or visitors.(2) RTLS has enhanced staff safety across the board by enabling a duress button on the RTLS tag or badge worn by hospital staff and patients. When pressed, an alert is triggered and the precise location of the wearer is immediately visible to security staff to affect an urgent response. The benefits of incorporating a RTLS-enabled duress application in the nurse call environment are clear: increased sense of staff safety and security reduces turnover and increases staff satisfaction, patients have an increased sense of security enhancing overall satisfaction and, importantly, hospital reputation is protected and liability is reduced. The general morale in the facility is improved when staff – and patients – feel they are safe. This feature has been sought after and embraced by healthcare institutions as they continue to develop workplace violence strategies and solutions.

(1) “Workplace Safety and Health in the Health Care and Social Assistance Industry” by Jill A. Janocha and Ryan T. Smith, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010.

(2) “Nothing Changes, Nobody Cares: Understanding the Experience of Emergency Nurses Physically or Verbally Assaulted While Providing Care,” Lisa A. Wolf, PHD, RN, CEN, FAEN; Altair M. Delao, MPG; Cydne Perhats, MPH, 2014.