How RTLS Safety Can Protect Healthcare Workers and Reduce Burnout

Violent incidents in healthcare provider organizations, particularly in the emergency department, are not unusual, with large and small incidents involving patients, healthcare providers and staff occurring daily across the country.

But it is very important that workplace violence does not simply become “part of the job” of healthcare workers.

Various nursing associations raise awareness and more severely sanction those who harm the staff. But some health technology experts say implementing security enabled with real-time location systems has the potential to provide stronger protections for employees.

Nick Adriance is Global Product Manager, Security Solutions at CenTrak, which provides location, detection and security technologies for the healthcare industry.

We sat down with him to discuss how RTLS can help prevent workplace violence and ensure fast response times from security personnel, why RTLS-designed facilities can help hire new talent, and some ways to use technology to improve the work environment for nurses as the nursing shortage grows.

Q. How can RTLS help prevent workplace violence and ensure quick response times from security personnel?

A. As hospitals and other healthcare facilities continue to recover from the fallout from COVID-19 and deal with increased workplace violence, RTLS provides a cost-effective staff restraint solution that prevents threats from escalating into events. dangerous.

The technology behind RTLS allows staff members to discreetly send panic alerts from active RFID enabled badges. Once the alert button is activated, security personnel are immediately alerted, given the healthcare worker’s specific location, and can respond quickly to the situation.

The subtlety and proximity of the button is crucial for staff members under duress. Even if a security guard is nearby, physically asking for help can potentially escalate a violent encounter.

The emergency call immediately notifies the appropriate personnel via their computer workstations, email, SMS messages, display monitors, VoIP phone messages, security dispatchers and alarm buzzers, and shares the exact location in real time emergency.

By incorporating an accurate RTLS solution with redundant alerts, team members are assured that their duress call is received quickly and acted upon immediately.

Following an emergency notification, location visibility increases response times to prevent staff injury, especially in high-risk areas such as the emergency department or behavioral health units. The system constantly shares rapid and continuous real-time location updates to assist security personnel.

Even if a healthcare professional moves during a stressful situation, response team members have continuous visibility of the new location and not just the site from which the alert originated to ensure a quick and precise. Managers of management and security can consider RTLS duress solutions that offer clinical-grade localization, which provides the most accurate location for a staff member, patient, or asset.

Investing in RTLS can combat growing violence against healthcare workers and make healthcare professionals safer.

Q. How can facilities designed by RTLS help recruit new talent?

A. As health system and facility leaders seek new ways to hire and retain staff, they must first pause to reconsider current tactics and ensure they are providing their teams with the support and the security they really need.

Healthcare professionals are essential to the health and well-being of the communities they serve, and talented new hires want to know that their employer will use the latest tools needed to ensure quality care. Technology such as RTLS provides advanced solutions to better support staff, especially as many teams experience more limited resources.

Workplace violence is on the rise, and establishments looking to attract and hire new employees must invest in and be able to demonstrate a safe environment for their employees. This can differentiate facilities and leadership when competing for top talent.

By implementing RTLS, facility management can provide a robust solution to the strain of staff and other critical resources that benefits overall staff health, safety and efficiency. This demonstrates to new hires and interested candidates that the healthcare facility values ​​safety and puts the needs of patients and employees first.

Beyond staff constraint, additional RTLS solutions offer healthcare workers better assistance and provide the support that new hires want to see. By adding location data to a nurse call solution, teams benefit from stronger communication and improved workflow.

When a nurse enters a patient’s room, instead of running through an obstacle course of medical equipment to press a call cancel button, her badge automatically sends a signal that cancels the call and note the time of his arrival. Automation allows nurses to jump right into assessing patient needs, creating a better experience for both parties.

Healthcare facilities can leverage RTLS to reduce bottlenecks in clinical workflow, improve overall coordination of patient care, reduce manual documentation, increase safety for everyone, and streamline procedures and compliance. New hires and existing staff want to work smarter, not harder, and know they are supported by leadership through the use of technology.

Q. In what ways can technology be used to improve the workplace for nurses as the nursing shortage worsens?

A. Staffing shortages negatively impact patient care and job satisfaction, which can lead to missed shifts, high turnover and higher costs. Reducing nurses’ workload is a critical aspect of combating burnout and promoting staff retention, and healthcare leaders will find that investing in nurses makes sense for health outcomes. the establishment.

It also greatly improves staff satisfaction and the patient experience, and demonstrates that leadership values ​​the well-being of its employees.

While tokens of appreciation are thoughtful, eliminating non-value-added tasks and freeing up time for nurses to focus more on patient care will likely have a greater long-term impact on patient satisfaction. employees.

Ensuring nurses feel supported, safe and equipped to do their jobs can reduce the alarming number of staff considering leaving the profession and help healthcare systems avoid the significant costs that support recruitment and training.

Workplace violence and safety has become a growing concern for nurses and healthcare professionals. By integrating RTLS technology into existing security systems, healthcare facilities benefit from the most comprehensive security solution.

Location-based technology can not only help address security issues, but also extend to other aspects of a facility’s operations for improved efficiency. Integrations with nurse call systems, EHRs, and dedicated solutions that support clinical workflow automation, asset management, real-time temperature monitoring, and more deliver benefits additional workplace for nurses and staff.

Automating nurse call systems is a relatively simple solution that offers significant benefits to staff and reduces time-consuming manual procedures. Improving any clinical workflow process increases operational efficiency, and call systems impact the vast majority of nurses.

As leadership seeks to improve the nursing workforce, another key area to address is asset visibility. A third of nurses report spending an hour or more during an average shift looking for equipment. This time totals 6,000 lost hours per month and reduces patient care, which is particularly inefficient as nurses with limited resources take on additional responsibilities.

By implementing RTLS for asset management, nursing staff can locate critical equipment within minutes, saving valuable time, reducing stress, and ensuring timely care.

Healthcare facilities can leverage RTLS to reduce bottlenecks in clinical workflow and improve coordination of patient care. Administrators can keep tabs on key patient flow metrics such as patient volume, length of stay, room utilization, patient wait times, and time with a care provider.

This information can support data-driven staffing strategies to ensure resources are allocated when and where they are most needed. Plus, when caregivers don’t have to ask where their patients are in the care process or wait for manually-entered status updates, they can manage their daily workflow more efficiently and spend more time time to quality care.

RTLS technology also offers automated approaches to stay compliant with the Joint Commission’s updated workplace violence prevention standards for use with personnel restraint solutions. Facilities should conduct annual workplace violence scans, establish processes to accurately monitor and report violence, and educate on de-escalation tactics.

By incorporating the RTLS and leveraging reporting tools, facilities can significantly reduce and proactively address workplace violence. Job support not only increases satisfaction, it allows healthcare professionals to focus more on patient care, providing both a fulfilling career and positive patient experiences.

A safe and supportive workplace should be the norm, not the exception.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the author: [email protected]
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

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