Sentara Home Care workers receive personal safety devices
Sentara Enterprises, which includes Home Health and Hospice, Infusion services, and the Sentara PACE program, is distributing personal safety devices to their home visiting staff. More than 400 KATANA personal safety devices are being issued to home care team members who work alone in patients’ homes.
“This is a game changer for our team members’ personal safety,” says Kim Bradley, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for Sentara Enterprises. “It’s the nature of our work to send experienced, confident personnel into the field alone. They’re exceptional people, and we worry about them. Knowing they can now summon help with the touch of a button gives us greater peace of mind while they’re in the field.”
The patented device attaches to a smart phone and summons help from the KATANA Safety response team at the touch of a button. GPS technology pinpoints the worker’s location and dispatches emergency services if necessary. The device can issue a piercing audible alarm or a discrete silent alert and be activated with a Siri voice command if the provider can’t reach their phone.
If an employee is in a questionable situation, a ‘Walk with me’ function contacts the 24/7 emergency response center to monitor the activity until the user signals they’re okay.
“The KATANA device offers a tangible reminder that help is always available,” says Paul Ambrose, President of KATANA Safety. “Our goal is to keep mobile workers safe and prevent emergencies before they happen, but we can also respond quickly when someone is in trouble.”
Most home care interactions are routine and positive, but on occasion, verbal abuse or violence can occur. More than 72% of workplace violence in the United States is committed against health care workers in all settings of care. In response to staff concerns, Sentara engaged KATANA Safety to help increase staff confidence about their personal safety in the field.
“Home-based recovery and hospice are playing an increasing role in the continuum of care,” adds Kim Bradley. “The growing demand for home care raises the potential for workplace violence and we are proud to partner with KATANA Safety to help ensure our workers are safe.”
By: Dale Gauding