In the healthcare industry, worker and patient safety in hospitals are just as important as the critical care those facilities provide. As time has passed, threats to healthcare workers and patients have changed. Given the outbreak of COVID-19 in particular, the need for new healthcare safety protocols that reduce exposure and while maintaining quality of care is a top priority.
A Powerful Solution
Implementing audio monitoring solutions to simultaneously optimize security systems and enable contactless communication is a proven, indispensable solution for worker and patient safety in hospitals alike. These powerful audio solutions assist healthcare staff in maintaining constant and concise patient monitoring and allow personnel to communicate with patients at the touch of a button or using hands-free communication.
The benefits are numerous; and the time to integrate these solutions is now.
A Timely Solution
From March 13-19, 2022, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the entire patient safety community are collaborating to observe “Patient Safety Awareness Week.” An annual event intended to encourage the healthcare industry to learn more about patient and employee safety, stakeholders and security managers alike convene to host important discussions, meant to inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system.
In the security industry, this event is a critical moment of recognition. Especially considering that 75 percent of the nearly 25,000 nonfatal workplace assaults that occur in the U.S. every year happen in healthcare settings, according to the American Journal of Managed Care—hospitals being under elevated stress, because of the daily threat of COVID-19, means that healthcare workers are more at risk now than ever before.
Below are three ways audio increases patient safety in hospital settings:
- Remote Communications in Patient Rooms
Donning personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare staff is a time-consuming task, when caring for patients who might infect them with a disease. Any tool that allows them to communicate with a patient enables nurses to take care of more patients in less time.
Using the power of two-way audio devices, staff can seamlessly communicate with patients at the touch of a button from a nursing station; and patients are able to communicate right back using hands-free response options. Those same audio devices are also able to use audio analytics to analyze medical device alarm tones, sending alerts to nursing staff when something is not right—saving time, money, and even lives.
- Reducing Workplace Violence
Regarding the issue of workplace violence, safety and security systems outfitted with audio monitoring analytics are proven to reduce instances of violence across numerous verticals. In schools, for example, audio monitoring technology built to detect shouting reduced on-site officer response time to fights by 75 percent. In hospitals, where the same kinds of alarms can indicate serious events, this reduction in response time is vital.
An investigative report in San Francisco, CA, found that most violent incidents went unreported because there was “no continuing threat,” according to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Implementing a safety measure that enables security personnel to respond to workplace violence without a nurse or patient having to report it first is vital.
- Robust Situational Awareness and Alarm Response
The ability to use audio monitoring technology strategically placed throughout a hospital or clinic to detect aggression in people’s voices, explosions, and broken glass also enables personnel on site to intervene and even prevent security events beyond workplace violence, extending peace of mind to a population of employees who have gone too long without it.
- The VeriFact 525—a hands-free analog two-way (talk/listen) speaker microphone with Echo cancellation and full-duplex technology—enables facilities to take advantage of powerful, two-way communication with high-fidelity sound.
- The DigiFact 830—a two-way ceiling mounted 6.5” IP Network speaker microphone—harnesses the value of networked audio monitoring technologies, which analyze and stream bi-directional audio for broad frequency response, capable of picking up low-and-high frequency audibles.