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Ekahau RTLS Alerting Improves Staff Safety at Beaumont Health System

RESTON, Va. (WWJ) -- Ekahau Inc., the high-performance leader in real-time location systems, is helping Beaumont Health System in Royal Oak, to improve caregiver and staff safety in inpatient units and their Emergency Center.

Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak adopted the Ekahau RFID messaging solution to reduce response times to staff duress incidents involving nurses, physicians, interns and techs.

Employees who feel threatened simply pull down on the Ekahau badge's patent-pending panic switch and their location appears on badges worn by employees near the incident. Ekahau's wearable RFID badges offer proximity-based messaging via text, and operate over the existing wireless network in the hospital, eliminating the need for manual panic button presses, dialing and map look-ups. Security teams can also view the real-time locations of all badge-holders on web-based hospital floor plans and they can view post-emergency play-backs of staff movements, using Ekahau Vision software.

"In emergency departments, it's unfortunately commonplace for a caregiver to be kicked, punched, slapped, pushed or tackled," said Terry Kowalenko, M.D., chair of emergency medicine at Beaumont Health System. "While many hospitals tend to keep quiet about violence in the ED and other areas of the hospital, openly addressing this issue is critical to the safety of millions of health care workers."

In 2012, Kowalenko and a group of researchers conducted ground-breaking research published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, surveying 213 emergency department workers and revealing that 827 employees had reported violent events and 226 had experienced assaults. The study also revealed that victims filed safety reports only 42 percent of the time and reported incidents to police 5 percent of the time.

"Our research showed that workplace violence can result in productivity losses and high job stress that impacts an individual's ability to think on the job," Kowalenko said. "However, employers have options. By implementing a variety of security measures, hospitals can keep caregivers safe."

Added Ekahau president and CEO Mark Norris: "Ekahau welcomes the opportunity to help Beaumont Health System reduce emergency response times and create a safer workplace for caregivers who are saving the lives of others, every day."

Beaumont Health System is a three-hospital regional health system with 1,738 licensed beds, more than 14,000 full-time equivalent employees and nearly 3,100 physicians, including 500 employed physicians in the Beaumont Medical Group and more than 2,600 private-practice physicians. In addition to its hospitals in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe, Beaumont has 54 community-based sites of care including medical centers in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, family practice and internal medicine practices, five nursing centers, home care services and hospice. The Beaumont Research Institute has 1,100 active research studies with more than 82,000 participants. Beaumont is the exclusive clinical teaching site for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

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Ekahau Inc. provides realtime location systems using RFID over Wi-Fi technology. Ekahau RTLS includes the Ekahau Vision business intelligence software platform and active RFID tags and Wi-Fi badges, which give staff and managers unprecedented visibility into the location, condition and status of assets, people and workflows.

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