CentraCare Uses AlertMedia to Keep Home Healthcare Workers Safe
- ConfidenceIncreases nurse safety and peace of mind while providing in-home medical care
- SafetyRapidly dispatches law enforcement to a nurse’s precise location during an emergency
- VisibilityProvides leadership with a real-time snapshot of nurse whereabouts
- RecruitmentPositions CentraCare as an employer of choice, supporting nurse recruitment and retention
CentraCare Revolutionizes Home Healthcare Worker Safety
CentraCare is a not-for-profit health care system that provides high-quality care to nearly 700,000 people. With many locations throughout the region, CentraCare Health comprises eight hospitals, as well as eleven senior living facilities, thirty clinics, and numerous specialty care services. CentraCare has grown to meet the needs of the communities offering the latest advancements in care, technology, and treatments close to home.
"Home healthcare workers face unique safety risks not found in traditional healthcare settings. AlertMedia allows us to dramatically improve the safety and security of our employees in the field."
For patients of St. Cloud Hospital—the largest hospital in the region— CentraCare provides follow-up home medical care and hospice services to individuals who are best served at home. The hospital has been recognized as a Magnet® organization—a prestigious designation that recognizes excellence in nursing services—four times by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). For CentraCare, this means innovation and safety—for both patients and employees—are the hallmarks of their organization.
To keep its home health care workers safe in dangerous situations, CentraCare relies on AlertMedia. The AlertMedia mobile application, combined with an expert monitoring team, track and protect nurses in the field, quickly dispatching local authorities to a nurse’s location during an emergency.
“Home health care workers face unique safety risks not found in traditional health care settings. AlertMedia allows us to dramatically improve the safety and security of our employees in the field,” shares Kristen Husen, CentraCare’s Home Care & Hospice Director.
Protecting Home Healthcare Workers Presents Unique Challenges
CentraCare’s nurses are at higher risk because they work remotely. International Association of Healthcare Safety and Security (IAHSS) research reveals as many as 61 percent of home care nurses have experienced some form of workplace violence, and another study found that approximately 30 percent of home care workers reported being sexually harassed. Home care providers face highly volatile and unpredictable situations, and the threat of workplace violence and harassment is very real.
Even with comprehensive safety training and policies in place at CentraCare, nurses face “unknowns” going alone into private homes and unfamiliar neighborhoods to provide care. And as a 24/7 service provider, nurses often work outside of business hours, commonly reporting to a patient’s home in the middle of the night.
Simple, Intuitive Solution Provides One-Touch Access to Safety
"With AlertMedia, authorities can arrive at the scene with all the critical details they need, saving valuable time in emergency situations."
After discovering AlertMedia at a Visiting Nurses Association of America (VNAA) conference, CentraCare implemented AlertMedia’s 24-hour lone worker monitoring solution. Approximately 125 CentraCare employees now use AlertMedia’s easy-to-use mobile app while in the field.
CentraCare’s home health care workers possess a wide range of technical knowledge and comfort levels, so a simple, easy-to-use solution was critical to driving adoption. Kristen Husen, CentraCare’s Home Care & Hospice Director notes, “AlertMedia is incredibly intuitive and user-friendly. It’s simple to start and end a monitoring session. We have employees who are less technology savvy who have quickly mastered the app—that alone speaks volumes to its ease of use.”
AlertMedia’s safety solution enables users to quickly signal for help from their mobile device. If a user signals for help during an emergency, AlertMedia’s Monitoring Center receives a distress signal and immediately dispatches law enforcement to the user’s precise location.
Ranking high among CentraCare’s favorite features is the ability to enter personal information about the user—such as their photo and car make and model—into the AlertMedia app ahead of time. “With AlertMedia, authorities can arrive at the scene with all the critical details they need, saving valuable time in emergency situations,” Husen notes.
Enhanced Safety Increases Employee Retention and Recruiting
In addition to improving employee safety and security, AlertMedia positively impacts nurse recruitment and retention. A CentraCare hiring manager revealed that during the interview process, prospective candidates often ask how CentraCare will help protect their safety while in the field. Prospective candidates and current employees alike view AlertMedia as an incredibly valuable employment benefit. “AlertMedia’s employee safety monitoring app not only improves the safety of our home healthcare workers, but it also positions CentraCare as an employer of choice in the region—a huge competitive advantage given the growing nursing shortage. It’s truly a win-win,” adds Husen.