Cognosos Protect Places Safety at Nurses’ Fingertips

A nurse in the middle of a busy shift enters a room on a routine visit to take a patient’s vitals. She’s immediately confronted by the patient’s spouse, who’s irate about the medications the patient was given. The nurse uses the de-escalation measures she’s learned from the hospital-mandated training, but the patient’s spouse doesn’t calm down. She doesn’t know whether the incident will escalate, but she knows one thing: She doesn’t feel safe.

These kinds of workplace violence incidents against nurses are on the rise, and hospitals are responding with new measures to protect their staff. Some hospitals have chosen to install expensive weapons detection systems at facility entrances. Others have placed wall-mounted emergency buttons in patient rooms and other strategic points around the hospital. Still others have considered arming hospital security officers with firearms or less lethal weapons such as pepper spray or tasers. Many hospitals have incorporated a combination of these measures to prevent workplace violence incidents in their facilities.

But there are counterarguments and limits to the protection these strategies can provide. Metal detectors can reduce the severity of an incident by removing inherently deadly weapons from the equation, but they can’t help a nurse who’s in the middle of an encounter. Wall-mounted emergency buttons are frequently installed near the head of patient beds—a place nurses are instructed not to go in the case of a workplace violence incident. Firearms and other weapons may help security officers quell an assailant, but they may also exacerbate the incident and increase the risk of collateral harm to nurses and patients.

Hospitals can balance their primary interests—improving safety for nurses and maintaining a nurturing environment for patient care—by adopting a badge-based staff duress solution Nurses know they have a direct line to help on their person, which gives them the peace of mind they need to focus solely on patient care.

But not all badge-based duress solutions are equally effective. To provide maximum protection for nurses—and enhance regulatory compliance for hospitals—a badge-based duress solution should offer:

  • Discreet design – The badge should not look out of place on the typical hospital access badge stack a nurse wears.
  • Easy use – There should be no ambiguity as to the correct button on the badge to push; a nurse should be able to quickly identify it without looking.
  • Low-latency communication – Once the duress button is pressed, the message travels on a channel dedicated to emergency calls, ensuring a response can begin within seconds.
  • Haptic response – A nurse should receive a tactile, soundless alert after the badge is pushed, confirming that help is on the way without alerting an assailant.
  • Post-incident data collection – This allows the hospital to assess and improve their workplace prevention plan and comply with Joint Commission, OSHA, and other regulatory requirements.
  • Fast installation – Hospitals are under pressure to improve nurses’ safety now, so solutions must be implemented quickly and with minimal disruption to the facility’s operations.
  • Full-campus coverage – The solution must work inside and also outside the hospital, including parking lots, garages, and pathways leading to and from the facility.

The Cognosos Protect staff duress solution offers each of these critical elements. And because it runs on Cognosos’ proprietary LocationAI technology, Cognosos Protect delivers room-level accuracy with high confidence. Emergency responders will know exactly where a nurse is located during a workplace violence incident, even if an assailant is moving with the staff member around the facility.

Returning to the hypothetical situation presented at this article’s start: Imagine the nurse who encounters the angry spouse has Cognosos Protect on her badge stack. As she goes through the steps of her de-escalation training, she quietly moves her hand to the Cognosos Protect badge and presses the alert button on its reverse—she knows it by feel, so she doesn’t even have to look at it. The badge buzzes silently against her hand in response. She continues speaking with the spouse, confident that help is on the way and soon, she’ll be out of harm’s way.

To learn more about how you can deliver comprehensive protection—and peace of mind—to your hospital’s nurses with Cognosos Protect, please contact us today.

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