How Healthcare Facilities Leverage Emergency Notification Systems


Guest Blog by Singlewire® Software

For any healthcare facility, the main goal is to provide excellent patient care. To do that, those facilities need tools that help them communicate with staff and visitors to ensure quick response times for potential emergencies. But it can be hard to know if a tool is going to work how you want it to. The best way to find out is by seeing how others use it.

Healthcare facilities across the country are leveraging emergency notification systems to provide excellent patient care, improve communication and keep patients, staff, and visitors safe. In this blog post, we’ve compiled stories from healthcare facilities that provide first-hand accounts of how emergency notification systems are changing the ways they share critical information that helps them care for their patients.

Patient Tracking

Keeping track of patients who tend to wander can be a challenge. Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in San Francisco needed a way to alert staff when patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s left designated areas, and a way to send messages that patients would recognize.

Laguna Honda used InformaCast emergency notification system to integrate with its Stanley Healthcare RFID tag system to track patient location. When a patient wanders outside of a designated area, it triggers an InformaCast broadcast which alerts staff and sends a message to overhead speakers alerting the patient with a prerecorded message. The hospital even had patients’ loved ones’ record messages, so when a patient would hear the recording, they would recognize the voice.

Push Button Alerting

In a hospital, every second matters. Having a means to quickly send a message to the right people can keep response times short. During renovations at Aspirus Healthcare in Wisconsin, the IT team realized they did not have a plan for incorporating intercoms for overhead paging. Aspirus was also facing obstacles from its legacy paging system, which needed to be replaced. The facility needed a simple notification system for communicating with medical staff while not sharing sensitive pages with patient families.

Aspirus turned to its existing Cisco phones to enable InformaCast notification and alert software for pre-recorded paging. This provided a cost-effective means to establish standardized paging procedures throughout the hospital and designated zones so certain pages are only heard in specific areas. Messages can be sent to page doctors about Code Blue situations, or for something as simple as a room clean up.

Keeping People Informed

A crisis situation can impact any kind of organization. Riverside Healthcare in Illinois uses InformaCast as a communication tool to keep large numbers of people and targeted groups, like senior leadership, informed of potential crisis situations. As soon as a switchboard operator hits a button to activate a message, it is sent to the mobile devices of the people that need to be informed. With more than 400 people using the InformaCast Mobile app, information spreads quickly.

When a school in the area had an incident involving carbon monoxide poisoning that sent a large number of patients to one of Riverside’s hospitals, they issued a Code Yellow, which is used when they need assistance from all departments. These groups include doctors, security personnel, nursing staff, behavior health, mental health specialist, and chaplains. Riverside was able to leverage InformaCast to inform everyone and begin coordinating the response needed to assist with the situation.