08/20/2020

BY EVAN BALCH, ANALYST

A headshot of a Caucasian maleAs a management consultant, the healthcare sector can get surprisingly personal—my first healthcare project was the perfect example.

In this case, my team deployed an infant protection system—and to parents with children, what could be more personal than that? Infant protection systems provide anti-abduction technology, which enable hospitals to safely prevent a potential abductor from removing a child from designated areas of a healthcare facility.

The specific system we deployed, with the help of Tech Systems (TSI), was the Hugs infant protection system from Stanley Healthcare.

As if having a child is not stressful enough, parents must be confident that a healthcare facility has systems in place to make sure their new child will always be safe and secure while they are on the premises.

How does it work? Well, the system uses sensors which lock nearby doors, sound alarms, and notify security, when a Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) proximity sensor is tripped.

While selecting an appropriate infant protection system and the correct partners to deploy the system is critical, there are a variety of risks at each stage of the deployment process and beyond that can and should be mitigated. Any factors of the deployment process not addressed, or potential risks exposed and not prepared for, could potentially put children and families at risk. This is unacceptable when it comes to any patients in a healthcare facility, but we all feel a special obligation to protect children.

Selecting an appropriate infant protection system and the correct partners to deploy the system is critical.

If you’re looking for ways to reduce potential risks and improve the system deployment cycle in a healthcare setting here are some things you should know:

Develop a Strong Team

Develop a team with all stakeholders in mind. A project manager needs input from a variety of healthcare facility stakeholders including those in physical security, nursing, operations, IT, and of course the system and deployment partners. Each stakeholder group can provide critical insight into how the new system will affect their operations, their staff, their patients, and any key issues that must be considered in preparation for go-live, during the system go-live process, and after go-live. These stakeholders can also assist if any issues arise at any point of the deployment process.

Plan for Risks before Go-live

Facilitate meetings in advance of go-live where stakeholders and other system deployment partners brainstorm what could go wrong, and what the plan is for addressing each scenario should it occur. Some of these scenarios include the possibility of delays in completing the system deployment due to technical issues and how to work around possible spikes in demand for department resources. It’s also important to establish who the representatives are for each stakeholder group so that the deployment team knows who to call in case of an emergency when stakeholder input is needed during go-live.

Ensure Staff are Trained Appropriately

Once system go-live dates are set make sure training plans are established, and each staff member who needs training has time set aside to receive training. What good is a new and improved system if hospital staff have not been properly trained in its use? While the user experience of a system like Hugs may be designed to be user friendly, nursing and security staff must be trained to utilize it effectively.

Adapt Quickly to Challenges

While planning and attempting to anticipate challenges involving patient safety, security, and hospital operations is important, unanticipated challenges can always occur during the go-live process. Unanticipated challenges may include the existing placement of an automatic door opener for handicapped access or the trial and error calibration process of all the sensors involved in the infant protection system to make sure they are performing appropriately. This is where the strong team dynamic developed between all stakeholders can be leveraged to discuss and resolve problems quickly and correctly.

Think Long Term

Planning a new system deployment with both short and long-term implications in mind is critical to ensuring patient safety. One way to do this is by selecting technology partners and vendors who have both system support needs and system lifecycle concerns in mind. Beyond system go-live we know that our client will have the support of a talented technical team and the experience working with companies who continue to develop their infant protection products to meet the market demands with new Wi-Fi based system offerings.

Patient safety, especially the safety of children and infants, is a top priority for hospital facilities. To maintain a safe environment during a new system deployment, selecting appropriate systems and deployment partners is a critical component, in addition to ensuring there is a strong team dynamic and plans in place to ensure patient safety throughout the project lifecycle.

To maintain a safe environment during a new system deployment, selecting appropriate systems and deployment partners is a critical component.

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