When an emergency occurs at a healthcare facility, the number one priority should be to protect patients, staff, and visitors. Depending on the situation, the best way to do this may be to initiate a lockdown. However, without the right tools and procedures in place, this can be a time-consuming and ineffective solution. Healthcare facilities need to have pre-configured messages that broadcast relevant information and automated processes that lock doors to quickly respond to urgent events. Many healthcare facilities are turning to mass notification software to connect disparate devices and systems so they can quickly lockdown their buildings should a need arise. In this blog post, we’ll outline how mass notification systems help healthcare facilities initiate hospital lockdowns to keep patients, staff, and visitors out of harm’s way.
Violence within hospitals is on the rise. According to a study from IAHSS, the assault rate against healthcare workers increased from 9.3 incidents in 2016 to 11.7 in 2018. Gang retribution, upset patients, and other intruders can all cause harm to staff, other patients, and visitors. Containing a threat can help mitigate harm until a response team arrives to help apprehend an intruder and resolve the incident. However, if this process is not automated, precious seconds can be wasted that could put people in harm’s way.
With a mass notification system, hospitals can alert people using text and audio messages about potential intruders and automatically trigger electronic door locks in particular areas to restrict an intruder’s movements and access. IP speakers, IP phones, digital signage, desktop computers, and mobile devices can all be used to share information and help trigger alerts so messages get sent out with utmost haste.
Patient well-being is a chief concern for healthcare facilities. If a patient goes missing, hospital lockdowns can be a helpful way to ensure they don’t get too far. Whether it be a patient with dementia who may be confused about their surroundings or someone who has taken a child from a maternity ward, initiating a lockdown can help prevent people from leaving a facility until the patient is found. Broadcasting messages also can help staff understand someone is missing and locate the patient quickly.
Managing Hospital Lockdowns
Should a healthcare facility need to initiate hospital lockdowns it will also need people who can manage the situation and eventually signal an “all clear” message. A mass notification system offers healthcare facilities the ability to quickly gather key stakeholders in virtual spaces who can assess a situation and determine the best course of action. Following a lockdown alert, security team members and hospital administrators can be invited to join a collaboration group via tools like Cisco Webex Teams or Microsoft Teams. This makes it easy to discuss what is happening with the people best suited to resolve an event. They can also decide when is the right moment to let everyone know the situation has been resolved.
In addition to hospital lockdowns, mass notification systems can be used to provide assistance to patients, coordinate shift changes, and more to enhance safety and communication. For more information, visit our Healthcare page.