Trinitas Regional Medical Center, the premier, full-service healthcare facility serving Central New Jersey, is taking a novel approach to protecting its staff from combative patients, utilizing a Real-time Locating System (RTLS) from Versus Technology, Inc.
RTLS, commonly used for asset and patient tracking in hospitals, was selected by Trinitas first and foremost to enhance their safety protocols, according to Security Director John Dougherty. “Our main goal and objective was to improve the security and safety of our staff.”
Versus’ Visibility Staff Assist solution, provided through Maffey’s Security Group, the local Versus Certified System Integrator and Trinitas’ security vendor of more than 50 years, provides location-aware badges for caregivers. By pressing the badge button, staff can immediately summon help to their location.
The need for enhanced security in healthcare is made plain by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey. It found 10 percent of all workplace violence victims worked in medical occupations, behind only law enforcement and retail. Further, a 2011 survey by the Emergency Nurses Association found 55 percent of nurses experienced physical or verbal abuse during a seven-day period.
According to Dougherty, “Many of our staff work in areas where they are sometimes alone with volatile patients. Previously, if a nurse needed help, she wouldn’t be able to get it right way. But by pushing their badge button, not only does it alert other people, but it also shows the nurse’s location.”
Trinitas first implemented the Staff Assist system in its Emergency Department in February of 2013. ED staff can push their badge buttons to summon help for medical emergencies (for example, to help with a patient in cardiac arrest), or to request a Code Gray (combative patient or visitor).
Trinitas has since expanded the system into its inpatient and outpatient psychiatric units, as well as its drug abuse counseling facility. A button-push in these areas immediately triggers a Code Gray response. Implementation in the Med/Surg unit, which sometimes houses psychiatric patients, is on the horizon.
Combined, more than 200 Trinitas physicians, RNs, LPNs, and technicians wear Versus badges.
Denise Loneker, RN, CEN, Nurse Manager in Trinitas’ emergency department appreciates the security Staff Assist provides. “Before, I had nothing to alert my coworkers if I was in trouble, but now I have this badge. It helps improve morale in the ED, knowing that help is just a button-push away.”
Dougherty suspects the Staff Assist system may also show a certain amount of hard ROI. “We’re always going to have our Code Grays, but Staff Assist may cut down on actual physical assault, because of improved response times.” Dougherty indicates comparing lost time from work due to violent assault before and after implementing Staff Assist might be one way to determine a return on investment.
“But quite frankly,” Dougherty says, “This is about providing peace of mind to our staff.”
To learn more about Staff Assist and other uses for RTLS in the clinical environment, such as patient flow, EMR automation, hand hygiene and more, visit Versus’ website at versustech.com or see Versus at one of several upcoming healthcare conferences listed at versustech.com/events.
About Trinitas Regional Medical Center
Trinitas Regional Medical Center (TRMC), a major center for comprehensive health services for those who live and work in Central New Jersey, is a Catholic teaching medical center sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth in partnership with Elizabethtown Healthcare Foundation. With 10 Centers of Excellence across the continuum of care, Trinitas has distinguished itself in cardiology, cancer care, behavioral health, renal care, nursing education, diabetes management, wound healing and sleep medicine. For more information, visit www.TrinitasRMC.org.
About Maffey’s Security Group
For over 100 years, Maffey’s Security Group has been a leader in helping businesses throughout New Jersey and beyond develop a safe and secure environment. From basic deadbolt locks to hi-tech access control, CCTV and security systems, Maffey’s can assist you with all of your security needs. Businesses both large and small trust their security to the experts at Maffey’s Security Group. For more information, visit maffeys.com.
About Versus Technology, Inc.
Established in 1988, Versus Technology, Inc. specializes in Real-time Locating Systems (RTLS) for healthcare. Used by more than 700 hospitals for enterprise patient tracking, bed management, asset tracking, and nurse call automation, Versus improves patient flow and documentation of caregiver and patient interactions, while enhancing communication and efficiency. Exclusively endorsed by the American Hospital Association, the Versus infrared (IR) and Active RFID solution is responsible for clinical-grade location and automation at hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities worldwide. For more information, visit versustech.com.