RTLS: real-time location against assaults


Employees in medical areas have been experiencing a sharp increase in assaults against themselves for years. To mitigate such situations and still be able to call for help in a timely manner, it is recommended that RTLS systems be used for real-time location.

Medical facilities as a battleground

According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees in healthcare professions are five times more likely to experience violence on a daily basis than those in other fields. The reasons for this are many. People with infirmities are often in emotionally exceptional situations, which sometimes makes them forget their manners.

Other patients and their relatives have problems with authority for a variety of psychological reasons. They consider it their right to severely insult or even physically attack people who actually only want to help them.

Pandemic as an accelerant

The current crisis is visibly exacerbating these conditions, which have already persisted for years. Heavily overworked and diminishing staff are increasingly encountering highly intransigent visitors in their facilities who do not consider medical instructions to be relevant to them. In a recent U.S. study, hospital staff reported a twenty percent increase in violent incidents since the crisis began.

RTLS: countering escalation and providing rapid assistance

Conventional emergency call systems often have the problem that they can further escalate already very tense situations. Loud beeps or frantically flashing lights don’t exactly help patients or visitors in emotional states of emergency calm down quickly. In fact, employees who call for help in this way are more likely to be physically attacked even more vehemently than they would be without such requests for assistance.

Secret emergency calls via employee badges

To prevent such situations from arising in the first place, RTLS technology offers a useful way out. Employees who feel threatened can not only ensure that their distress is registered by secretly pressing buttons on their badges. This alarm function also transmits their location to headquarters and security personnel in real time. Should the location shift on short notice due to an altercation, the implementation of clinical location tracking (CGL) solutions provides even more accurate location of personnel.

Enhanced security by upgrading old systems

If it becomes apparent that this option is inadequate to protect employees, extending the technology to other areas is an option. RTLS can also be integrated into existing systems to expand the hospital’s internal monitoring network.

Conceivable here are integrations with nurse call systems, entry controls, collective messaging, or other conventional security devices. It is up to the discretion of the management staff to choose the appropriate options and to define the necessary security parameters.

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