As a Service Technician for IMS, I work directly with Nurses, Nurse Managers, Biomed Technicians, Electricians, and a host of other professionals within the Hospital on a daily basis. I answer questions, help solve problems, and basically do anything that needs to be done to keep the Hospital’s Patient Security System running smoothly. A lot of this involves taking phone calls from staff because of an issue they are having. One of the biggest comments I hear from nursing staff is "I didn't know if this was a big enough problem to have bothered you after hours, but I wanted to check".
Take for instance just the other night. Our on-call technician took a call in the early morning hours from a nurse at one of our Patient Security accounts, about constantly getting a Door Ajar Event on the system. Basically, a Door Ajar Event is a feature of the system that monitors all exits from the protected area. If any door is open for longer than a predetermined length of time, as programmed in the software, an event is declared on the system to alert staff to this. This is a very useful function in dealing with Patient Security, to make sure no one is attempting to circumvent the possibility of a door becoming locked if they attempt to remove a monitored patient from the protected area. The Door Ajar Event function is especially important if there are exits in out-of-the way locations where staff may not have visibility of them.
As always, when we receive calls like this, our first objective is to determine the cause of an issue and then try to mitigate that by making internal adjustments. In this case, however, the problem was being caused by a situation completely out of our control. Our technician called the nurse back and determined the Door Ajar alerts were being caused because of power issues. After the hospital had experienced a power outage, an air handler was not working correctly, which was preventing a door from closing all the way, leading to the constant Door Ajar Events. There was nothing on our side that could be done about the air handler issue, but our technician was able to temporarily turn the Door Ajar Event off for that exit.
Temporarily turning off the Door Ajar feature at this exit, with full approval and knowledge of the staff, until the underlying issue could be remedied, was the best option for them. This way, the staff did not have to go through the rest of the night clearing Door Ajar Events. Once the air handler problem has been fixed, all they have to do is let us know, and the Door Ajar function for this exit can be turned back on. But it does not end there. Knowing how busy nursing staff is we do not want to take a chance that anything would be overlooked by anyone.
So we automatically set up a follow up to check back with them that same morning to make sure the problem with the air handler has been resolved. One of our technicians was assigned to the follow up. He made the call back to the Nurse Manager of the department, explained why he was calling, and verified the issue was resolved and the door was now shutting completely. He then logged back into their system remotely and turned the Door Ajar function for the exit in question, back on. System back to normal, everyone can go back to their normal duties, assured that the Patient Security System is doing the job it was designed to do.
Even though this was something very simple on our side, it was a very huge problem for the nursing staff at this location. And with nursing staff always being so busy, especially now with the current events of the Coronavirus taxing health care workers to limits they have not seen before, to be able to have someone help alleviate a situation that can seem so time consuming, and probably somewhat irritating, so they can go about their normal routines, gives them peace of mind. That's what we are here for.
We are here to help, whether it is a big problem, or a perceived big problem, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Just let us know how we can help, and we will make it right for you.
Remember, "In Healthcare, We Make It All Work Together."