The first Securalert project
REGIONAL HOSPITAL CENTER OF THREE RIVERS
SAINTE-MARIE PAVILION PROJECT (1993)
Mr. Victor Rouette has been working for the department of psychiatry since the beginning of his carrier in 1972. He has occupied the position of Chief Assistant Nurse for the last thirty-four years and is responsible for the daily administration of the department. Mr. Rouette was met on August 28th 2006 in order to document the project beginning with its conception in 1992, its realization in 1993, and finally its evolution since 1993. Mr. Rouette has been a central figure in analyzing the needs, the implantation of the project as well as its usefulness throughout the years. The department of psychiatry at Sainte-Marie’s Pavilion numbers forty-four beds located on two stories, eighteen beds on one story and twenty-six on the other.
INITIAL NEED: TO REDUCE COSTS
The risk of aggression in a psychiatric center is always present and in order to manage Sainte-Marie’s, the administration has posted a security guard, on each floor, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. In all, eight security guards were hired to protect personnel, the majority being female, who work in this department. The initial priority was cost reduction and lowering the number of security guards down to four without interfering with the department’s safety.
CHALLENGE: LOWERING THE COSTS WITHOUT TAMPERING WITH THE SECURITY GIVEN TO PERSONNEL
The challenge is high, the two persons who were responsible for the project at the time, Ms. Diane Larouche, Chief Nurse of the department of psychiatry, and Mr. Georges Frigon, Security and Telecommunication Chief, believed that a wireless panic button system which could be worn by each member of the department’s personnel and which could, whenever activated, be able to immediately, precisely and without error, locate the exact area where the person in distress was in such a manner that the security agent and the designated personnel would get there within one minute.
SOLUTION: THE SECURALERT SYSTEM
Basically, the department’s main interest focused on ultrasound (US) technology which allows, contrary to radio (RF) technology, immediate localization, with precision and without error, of a person in distress. In order to achieve this, receptors-detectors were installed in each room of the department, the patients’ rooms, washrooms, isolation chambers, showers, offices, and corridors. Each member of personnel was equipped with its wireless miniature panic button that could easily be slipped inside a pocket or hooked-up to clothing. The receptors-detectors are linked to an automatic private pocket paging system that indicates the whereabouts of the call by displaying it on a numeric screen. One hundred receptors-detectors were installed to cover the two-story area.
During an emergency signal, set-off with a simple pressure on the button, the call is instantaneous and automatically sent to intervening personnel equipped with a pocket pager of numeric display screen and the number or the description of the local appears on the screen.
RESULTS AND BENEFITS: 100 % SATISFACTION!
This installation is NORDICOM’S (then called CLERCOM) first, the adaptation period was quick. The pilot project had been scheduled for a duration of ten months. The system worked well and so the project took-off rapidly and was able to realize its trial period within the allotted time. The SECURALERT system was rendered to be most efficient and reliable. For an investment of less than $50,000.00 (including installation), the department can fulfill its duty by offering its personnel the security it requires and with four security guards rather than eight. Employees of Sainte-Marie’s Pavilion now feel safe and can go about their workload worry-free, day and night.
The department of psychiatry has now been relocated on one floor. Receptors-detectors were easily recuperated and installed in the new locals without any problem, once again confirming the system’s flexibility and reliability.
After more than thirteen years, SECURALERT still proves to be a very reliable and low cost system. During this long period of time, only one receptor-detector was defective and repairs related to the panic button were minimal. On a thirteen-year period, the panic buttons were replaced, on average, only once and according to Mr. Rouette, they most probably will be good for another ten years.
Here we have a concrete example of a system that respected its promises of long-term efficiency as well as low maintenance costs. BRAVO TO NORDICOM AND ITS SECURALERT!
Mr. Victor RouetteChief Assistant NurseDepartment of PsychiatrySainte-Marie PavilionRegional Hospital Center of Three Rivers