From “Is Your Hospital’s Communications System Ready for the Next Big Emergency?”
Campus Safety Magazine (06/08/2016) Winn, Zach. Reposted by ASIS.
Updated emergency communications systems designed to meet hospitals’ unique needs are crucial to maintain real-time communication during emergency situations. Emergency communication between different organizations or responding teams can pose challenges if communication channels are encrypted; hospitals are required to make their communication channels compatible with local law enforcement and emergency response services. Companies like Mutualink provide interoperable networks by inserting existing communications infrastructure into an IP network. “It allows emergency commanders to, among other things, create incident channels,” said Mutualink’s Rob Wright. “So if there are multiple teams responding to something, they can be added to the channel in an instant and communicate seamlessly.” Experts stress redundancy in emergency notifications; alerts should be sent through a number of platforms, including text messages, phone calls, emails, overhead paging, and desktop alerts. Cutting lag time in emergency notification and response is a priority, according to Bryan Warren, director of corporate security for the Carolinas Healthcare System. “By their very nature, emergency situations are very fluid and dynamic,” said Warren. “Without real time, up-to-the-second details and effective two-way communication capabilities, poor decisions can be made.”