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AeroScout RTLS Helps The Valley Hospital's Staff Feel Safer

The Stanley Healthcare solution includes Wi-Fi RFID badges that nurses, physicians and other personnel can use to identify their locations and call for assistance.
By Claire Swedberg
Sep 27, 2016

The Valley Hospital, in Ridgewood, N.J., has been using a real-time location system (RTLS) to monitor the locations and identities of staff members who press their emergency badge. Before the hospital deployed the system, only 50 percent of personnel reported a sense of workplace safety. Once those workers began utilizing the RTLS, provided by Stanley Healthcare, that figure rose to 85 percent.

The Valley Hospital rarely experiences violence in its ER, but there have been incidents in which employees have indicated feeling uncomfortable, the hospital reports. After members of a patient's family prevented a nurse from leaving that patient's room, that nurse asked the hospital to institute a better means of protecting personnel. The facility, which treats 74,000 patients in its emergency department each year, already offered wired emergency alarms in each room, but it decided that a wireless system would provide greater support to employees wherever they were in that department. The solution consists of Stanley Healthcare Wi-Fi-enabled call badges and software that helps security personnel identify who has placed a distress call, as well as where that person is located and what he or she looks like.

If a nurse requires assistance, she can press the button on her AeroScout T2s badge to summon help.
Daniel Coss, The Valley Hospital's director of security and public safety, says that in 2015, his organization took a three-pronged approach to improving safety. The hospital increased training and education, created a "Disruption Team" to respond to emergency calls and introduced Stanley Healthcare's AeroScout Staff Safety RTLS.

The wired panic-alarm system is still in place, enabling staff members in each room to reach for the alert box and pull its handle in order to receive assistance. However, Coss notes, the boxes may not always be easy for employees to find, and is not discreet. In contrast, a worker wearing an AeroScout badge could easily press its button without that action being noticeable to others in the room.

Rebecca Young, The Valley Hospital's ED North supervisor
Coss was already familiar with the AeroScout Staff Safety solution, a technology deployed by his previous employer, a Las Vegas hospital. The system consists of a Wi-Fi-enabled badge, as well as AeroScout software running on the facility's server to determine the identity and location of any individual who presses the badge's button.

Coss recommended the system to The Valley Hospital, which installed the technology last fall. With the hospital's existing Wi-Fi system, he explains, it provided location accuracy of approximately 8 to 10 feet. The facility opted to also install nearly a dozen AeroScout exciters to improve that granularity, says Rebecca Young, the supervisor of The Valley Hospital's Emergency Department North, to ensure that it could pinpoint a worker's location within 2 feet.

The system is voluntary, so only personnel who opt to use the technology receive a T2s badge, which is linked to that individual's name and photo in the AeroScout software residing on the hospital's server. The tags emit their unique identifiers to area access points via Wi-Fi signals, and the exciter transmits a unique ID number that is linked in the software to its exact location. The badge receives the low-frequency (LF) 125 kHz transmissions from the nearest AeroScout exciter, then transmits that exciter ID, along with the badge's identifier, thereby increasing location granularity.

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