SARA Integrated Alarm Monitoring & Mass Notification

ALFA Best of the Best Winner Allows Command and Control on the Go

Burying your head in the sand is no excuse when it comes to situational awareness for better risk management. Integrated alarm systems can help. Getty

One of the benefits of being a technology veteran is that you see a lot of trending over a lot of years, or in my case, decades. When I had my first bag phone with a backpack for a battery case, people mocked me mercilessly. “Like anybody wants that nuisance,” they said. Obviously folks changed their minds and cellular took off because mobility is a societal megatrend and therefore a technology driver with significant implications for business and that includes health care.


In fact, I’d argue that the stakes for adopting mobile technology are probably greater for hospitals and long-term care facilities because of what’s at stake – lives. Despite changing regulations, competition and cost-cutting, these organizations have to remain focused on resident/patient care. Thanks to mobile technology, they can, especially when it’s part of an overall situational awareness strategy that enables them to proactively confront threats to life, property, business continuity and convenience/comfort.

Improving the quality of care and resident/patient outcomes

Responding to alarms from nurse call, mobile duress, wander management, fire detection and access control systems is critical. Ignorance isn’t an option when a lack of information or disruptions in its flow can endanger lives. But trying to respond to alarms from multiple systems causes confusion, inefficiencies and distractions among clinicians and caregivers, leading to alarm fatigue and potentially negative impacts on those in their care.

SARA’s eMessenger Mobile is a new, advanced alerting capability. It stands for Situational Awareness and Response Assistant (SARA), an automated alerting engine that provides integrated alarm monitoring and alerting/mass notification. With SARA’s eMessenger Mobile, which is voice-, Wi-Fi- and cellular-enabled, health care organizations can expand their use of mobile devices for greater flexibility and situational awareness in the palms of users’ hands whenever, wherever.

Staff then can respond to unfolding situations more quickly, initiate detailed alerts and associated response plans more effectively, and escalate/notify others as necessary – all from one interface thanks to the solution’s customizable, preprogrammed dashboards.

No one is tied to a nurses’ station waiting for an alarm to occur, nor do they have to rely on multiple alerting devices. Clinicians and caretakers also can better prioritize and respond to alerts, enhancing workflow and the delivery of care. And such mass notification reduces the chance of information about a triggering event falling through the cracks. Delivering emergency alerts directly to caregivers via SARA’s eMessenger Mobile, rather than relying on stand-alone alarms that only provide local alerting through loud buzzers, lamps or annunciation panels, also create a more calm, home-like environment that residents/patients value.

Making a difference with real results

All life safety, security and environmental controls within a hospital or senior living campus can be integrated with SARA for a single point of alarm management and therefore complete situational awareness.

And with situational awareness comes the ability to deliver information about potential threats in real time to virtually any communication device – including mobile ones equipped with SARA’s eMessenger Mobile – for faster, more efficient response and therefore better resident care.

If you can read, hear and see what’s happening in and around a given facility, then you can do something about it – including moving residents/patients and staff away from danger. Real-time and historical reporting then enables you to analyze response times and protocols to improve performance, demonstrate compliance and assure families that their loved ones are receiving quality and timely care. Therefore, SARA’s eMessenger Mobile is critical to and unique in risk management because it:

  • Turns mobile devices into command and control centers with intuitive dashboards for seamless situational awareness and more efficient response management
  • Delivers color-coded, detailed alerts from disparate alarm systems across a single facility or multi-building campus
  • Escalates alerting and response management by enabling key individuals or select groups of responders to be notified in a single touch
  • Provides approximate location data so clinicians and staff can locate an alarm source more quickly
  • Can stream live video through surveillance camera integration based on triggering event type
  • Provides response logging to generate reports to analyze response times or other organizational performance or compliance metrics

Otterbain Senior Lifestyle Choices in Monclova, Ohio, was an early adopter of SARA’s eMessenger Mobile. The company decided to replace the pagers its nurses’ aides used with iPod Touches featuring SARA’s eMessenger Mobile’s intuitive dashboards. Comprised of five small houses with up to 10 residents each, the skilled nursing and rehab facility has reduced its average response time by three minutes. Tyler Hawk, LNHA and coach for Otterbein, also says that the technology was easy to adopt. In fact, newer and younger staff members had never even seen a pager, having only been exposed to smart devices like iPods and iPhones, so they were quick to pick up on how to use the new solution. 

Bringing situational awareness to any screen

Status Solutions’ mission is to defeat ignorance-based loss with situational awareness technologies, and we’ve been a leading provider of situational awareness and response management systems in senior living communities since our founding in 2001. For us, situational awareness isn’t just a product category, nor is it merely a software application or a 9-to-5 job – it’s our cause, our contribution to society.

The world is now full of screens – big ones like those on digital billboards and small ones like those on mobile devices – and our goal is getting information to all of them so action can be taken to protect people, property and efficiency because greater efficiency in health care leads to lower costs and higher quality of care. SARA’s eMessenger Mobile is key to this all-screen strategy because it powers the delivery of critical information to clinicians and caregivers via mobile devices, which should become more prevalent in all health care settings.

Command and control on the go, the ability to read, hear, see, do and analyze information for real-time situational awareness and therefore better risk management is what SARA’s eMessenger Mobile makes possible.

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