Avera Queen of Peace Hospital is a member of the Avera Healthcare System, which consists of a large family of hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, and home health/hospice agencies in eastern South Dakota and neighboring states. The 120-bed hospital employs roughly 620 staff members and is dedicated to providing quality health care services to the rural communities surrounding it. For more than 15 years, Avera Queen of Peace Hospital used a security panel and accompanying wireless infrastructure to secure its facility and its staff. The system was implemented over a small portion of the hospital, and alarm alerts were delivered to a central monitoring station. It allowed for coverage in about 75,000 square feet of the 300,000 square foot facility. Recently, Avera Queen of Peace realized that it needed a new system, including an enterprise mobile duress system, to cover the entire hospital and offer comprehensive protection. 

In facility operators’ minds, the best solution for Avera would provide location capability to pinpoint a distress call from anywhere on the campus. They decided on an enterprise mobile duress system -- Radius, by Inovonics. The system can automatically pinpoint a person who activates a distress call and can quickly deploy responders to their exact location. If a mobile panic button is activated, the signal would automatically be transmitted to a central control system, which would then process and locate the position of the event, immediately alert the appropriate response team, and direct it to where help is needed. The system relies on a secure server to process location information from duress (panic) buttons, monitor other information from the Inovonics wireless sensor network, and coordinate the notification of the pertinent information to the pre-identified recipients. 

 If a nurse runs into problems without help nearby, he/she simply pushes the button, and security and plant operations instantly are paged with a code name that identifies the emergency. It also sends a voice message across two-way radios to 24-hour security, plant operations and the admitting staff. Radius also sends the same code to the Avera Queen of Peace emergency hotline, prompting attendants to page security and plant operations. The new system also allowed the hospital to expand the coverage of the duress system beyond the main hospital building to outlying clinics. The most critical benefit has been the hospital’s ability to locate panic button pendants anywhere on the hospital campus, even outside of the building.

For more information on the technology and some important considerations, read "Make People Protection Possible: Key Requirements for Enterprise Mobile Duress Systems" by Inovonics Mark Jarman.