Prior to New York's implementation of the prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), it was rare to be concerned with threatening behavior at UHS Delaware Valley Hospital. However, a tighter rein on narcotic prescribing resulted in an increase in behavioral occurrences. Staff feedback and the absence of onsite security to respond to these occurrences drove leadership to focus on high-risk areas, making staff and patient safety the priority.
An adhoc team evaluated and identified safety and security concerns. Cameras and badge-access systems were installed, but the team's main goal was to find a better way for staff to quickly notify police for assistance. The "Panic Alert System" provides key staff—patient service representatives, nurses, and physicians—with computer keyboard access or panic alert buttons in areas like exam rooms. In just seconds, this electronic system simultaneously notifies 911 with the exact campus location and informs management at the same time via iPads, iPhones, and desktop computer screens.
The institution of this faster, more detailed notification process saves valuable time and has improved staff comfort level.