Mobile Duress Alarm Technology Supports Healthcare Staff Safety

December 16, 2022

Work-related violence is a complex issue that has significant personal, societal, and economic costs in a wide range of occupations and industries.  

Healthcare and the hospital system is a workforce known for the risk of violent incidents affecting staff.  

In a Wild Health article by health editor Jeremy Knibbs, there is acknowledgement that “Although accurate data is hard to obtain, it is apparent that for some years now, violence in healthcare workplaces has been on the rise, and that covid has put that problem on steroids.” 

However, a systemic literature study across countries in 2019 that Jeremy shared in the above-mentioned article provides us with a dire picture of violence in healthcare facilities: 

  • 62% of healthcare workers report exposure to healthcare workplace violence,  
  • 42.5% reported exposure to non-physical violence and 24.4% reported experiencing physical violence.  
  • Verbal abuse (57.6%) was the most common form of non-physical violence, followed by threats (33.2%) and sexual harassment (12.4%). 

So how can and how is technology helping to alleviate some of these dire statistics?

One way is through mobile duress alarm technology. 

The technology mobile duress alarm 

We know that fixed alarms on hospital walls and other fixtures provide staff members with the ability to sound an alarm in the face of violence or danger.  

Mobile duress alarms provide an extra layer of protection and safety confidence as it allows healthcare workers to raise an alarm, anytime and anywhere at the touch of a button on their mobile device. 

Mobile Duress technology is usually in the form of a small fob or device that can be clipped to clothing.

Real Time Location Systems – RTLS – is embedded into the device so it can automatically identify and track the location of not just healthcare workers but also assets/equipment in real time.  

RTLS, combined with a unified or integrated communications system allow for instant alarm notification and location tracking of the person in duress. This happens to the right people, in real time, typically form current mobile duress alarm technology.

Olinqua’s mobile duress for staff safety

Olinqua’s mobile duress alarms provide increased security measures for staff in ED, Mental Health and other high-risk hospital departments, where managing stressful and highly acute patient locations can pose heightened concerns for staff and family safety. 

Our solution has also been an ideal safety measure for healthcare workers who work alone, in the community, at night or are isolated from their healthcare workers.  

Our Messaging Integration Engine (MIE), integrates disparate communications and workflow systems in hospitals to automatically generate  updates to other systems. This can be done by sending instant point of care alerts via phone, paging, nurse call solutions or even medical devices.  

MIE acts as a middleware platform – receiving messages from different systems, translating them into formats that can be understood by the receiving systems, and subsequently distributing those messages to all the devices that a healthcare facility uses. We call this SaaS or iPaaS

So, for example, when a duress button or mobile safety tag is activated, it will activate a code black, sending the precise location of a healthcare worker under duress or assault to the teams on the floor and the security groups.

Staff safety leads to the confidence to come to work, knowing you are supported and safe

Through our work in (currently) 70+ Australian hospitals and healthcare facilities, we talk directly with all members of the healthcare team, on the ground. We also share knowledge on how real time security responses can create invaluable peace of mind.  

Personal safety for hospital staff beyond patient care can help staff feel more confident that their safety is safeguarded, empowering them to focus on delivering quality customer service and patient care. 

Let us help enhance staff safety with mobile duress technology

Passion for improving the work life of those that work in health services and the care they have of patients – drives our people. 

We know from experience how important safety amongst our healthcare is. If we can help to provide that level of safety for you and your teams, please get in touch.  

Our solutions and customer teams are at hand to listen to your situation and requirements and offer options/s to suit. O