Many different types of safety incident occur in healthcare environments – from assaults on staff to supply chain shortages to severe weather emergencies. Each type of safety incident can have different outcomes depending on how it is managed; and often it is the case that the less complex an incident is to manage, the better the outcome.
Therefore, it is in an organization’s best interests to simplify the management of safety incidents as much as possible – either by accelerating the response to the incident to minimize its impact, by automating the assignment of tasks to prevent mistakes being made or tasks being overlooked, or by making improvements to existing policies and procedures to eliminate unnecessary complexity.
With this in mind, we suggest three ways to simplify safety incident management in healthcare using the Rave Platform and components of the Platform. If you would like to see how these suggestions work in practice, you are invited to get in touch and speak with our team of healthcare safety experts to organize a demo of the Rave Platform tailored to your specific requirements.
1. Accelerating Incident Response
When a fire occurs in a healthcare environment, sensors usually detect the fire, activate sprinkler systems and a fire alarm, and simultaneously alert the local fire station. Compared to the manual activation of a fire alarm, manual attempts to extinguish the fire, and manually alerting the local fire station, the automated response to the detection of a fire accelerates the response to the incident.
Most other types of safety incident don’t have the same level of automated response. If an active assailant entered a hospital, for example, the response would not start until security is notified, a shelter-in-place order given, and law enforcement alerted. Any delay – due to the absence of key personnel or law enforcement not knowing the location – could have devastating consequences.
An automated response in these circumstances, would consist of a member of staff using their mobile safety app to activate the Rave Platform. The Rave Platform would simultaneously and automatically activate a shelter-in-place order, alert law enforcement, and provide first responders with the location of the active assailant, facility maps, and ongoing updates.
The automated response might only shave minutes from a manual response, but by accelerating the arrival of first responders and enhancing their knowledge of the situation prior to arrival, the length of the incident will be reduced, the management of the incident will be simplified, and the potential for loss of life and injury minimized – as will business disruption and potential loss of reputation.
2. Automatic Task Assignment
Not all safety events require such an extreme response. Nonetheless, the automation of tasks can ensure that, whatever the nature of the incident, its management is simplified. One example of how the automation of tasks can simplify incident management is cyberattacks – particularly ransomware attacks that affect an individual workstation or cluster of workstations before paralyzing a network.
In this scenario, the Rave Platform is integrated with network monitoring or endpoint protection software; and as soon as the Platform receives a notification of a ransomware attack, it automatically sends SMS and desktop alerts to network users instructing them to disconnect from the network. It also sends a separate alert to advise IT personnel to shut down servers.
Users and IT personnel are prompted to respond to SMS alerts when their tasks are completed with feedback on whether devices and/or servers were affected by the attack. This information is recorded by the Platform so incident managers can quickly assess how far the ransomware attack has spread – a process that could otherwise take days without quick action and immediate feedback.
Once the scale of the disruption is assessed, incident managers can set up tasks on the Rave Platform for users to wipe, restore, or restart their devices and provide feedback when each task is completed. Incident managers can then have a single pane view of the state of the network, and what actions still need to be taken before the network can be returned to full service.
3. Review and Improve Existing Policies and Procedures
Because the Rave Platform records every action and every feedback, incident managers can see what worked and what didn’t when responding to an incident. This provides the opportunity to see what worked, what didn’t, and what complicated incident management so that these areas can be simplified via the improvement of existing policies and procedures.
It is often the case that, by reviewing tasks, actions, and feedback, incident managers can find ways to prevent incidents from occurring. For example, to mitigate the likelihood of a cyberattack, the Rave Platform can be configured to remind IT personnel to run AV updates, check for OS patches, and run credential health checks to identify logins that may have been compromised.
The Platform can also be configured to receive anonymous tip text messages about security, HR, and maintenance issues, or potential HIPAA violations. As messages are received, system administrators can assign the reports to the appropriate department for investigation and receive feedback when the messages have been dealt with to enhance accountability for personal safety and data security.
There are many different ways in which the Rave Platform can be used to accelerate incident response, automate task assignments, and improve existing policies and procedures; and if you have a scenario in mind you would like to discuss with our healthcare safety experts, do not hesitate to get in touch.