IPC Health Improves Emergency Response with SafeZone

CriticalArc have provided us with phenomenal support, working with us to configure SafeZone and improve our emergency responses in exactly the way we want
CHRIS WILSON Senior Manager, Property, Contracts, & Procurement

CriticalArc’s SafeZone was identified as the best enterprise safety and security solution for IPC Health in Victoria, Australia, and it proved to have multiple other benefits too. Adopting the multi-function platform became a catalyst for a wide-ranging review of preparedness, emergency response, and support for staff wellbeing. A tailored solution was developed, to transform staff safety, and reduce workplace stress.

Update of security contract

IPC Health is one of the largest providers of community health services in Victoria, operating from six sites in Melbourne’s West and employing over 500 staff. IPC Health provides a wide range of services to the community including medical services; dental services; allied health; counselling and wellbeing and aged care services. The health organisation serves a population which is growing rapidly.

When IPC Health’s Facilities team identified Chubb Security as their preferred supplier for security services, they also took the opportunity to explore working with Critical Arc and SafeZone. And after learning of SafeZone’s broad, multi stakeholder capabilities, IPC Health embarked on a much wider reform – of security, safety, preparedness, and resilience – with SafeZone as the foundation.

SafeZone solution tailored to meet operational priorities

A staff working group representing a range of services was established to conduct a comprehensive review of procedures for staff safety and emergency response, looking at the best ways to take advantage of SafeZone’s multiple functions and capabilities. CriticalArc’s Customer Success team supported the review, configuring SafeZone to work exactly as needed.

The working group identified an extended list of operational priorities, helping to highlight where efficiencies could be built in. They looked at all the options available with SafeZone and ultimately decided on using SafeZone for duress / Code Black situations on and off site. Using either the SafeZone app on their phones, or a discrete wearable personal alarm, IPC Health staff – whether working on site, or visiting clients at home – can request assistance at the touch of a button when being in a duress situation.

All alerts are responded to via the Chubb control room. Operators can see the locations and identities of all users raising a duress alert. This enables an immediate response; for serious incidents where there is risk of harm, a police response is triggered, if required. Dedicated IPC Health staff also have access to the SafeZone Command portal and can monitor alerts and responses, if required.

For medical emergencies, IPC Health’s own medical staff will attend or 000 will be called directly. The SafeZone Command portal is used for other emergencies, with alerts sent to staff via SMS, email and Push through to the SafeZone app.

For example, a code yellow (internal emergency) alert was sent to all staff during a power outage, so that staff knew not to attend that site but to work from home or another site, and to make alternative arrangements for clients with appointments.

Staff health and wellbeing surveys had highlighted concerns about work pressure and stress levels during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. IPC Health’s health and wellbeing officer asked for the SafeZone Wellbeing Assistance feature to be enabled, which guides staff through the steps to get mental health support via the employee assistance program (EAP) or Lifeline.

Outcomes: rationalised emergency procedures, and strengthened resilience

IPC Health has rationalised its emergency procedures, with SafeZone and Chubb providing the assurance of a rapid and appropriate response to a duress situation, including violence and aggression. For example, if a member of staff is in a situation where they are working alone with a client and feel under threat, their alert is now dispatched directly to Chubb 24×7 Monitoring Center rather than triggering a general alarm on a localised, siloed system. As a result, colleagues who are not qualified to intervene or manage potential conflicts are not required to investigate a Code Black situation; this makes it easier for qualified responders to isolate incidents and deal with them safely.

And IPC Health’s resilience to major incidents has been strengthened too: if there is an emergency at a particular site, such as an extreme weather event or localised disruption, SafeZone’s Emergency Mass Notification alerts make it easy for all affected staff to be notified. This helps to keep individuals away from risk situations and makes it easier to coordinate effective responses.

SafeZone solution delivers multiple benefits

  • Immediate 24/7 response and emergency assistance for staff under threat, at the touch of a button, including for those working in the community
  • Locations of staff requesting help on-site are pinpointed to 3-meter accuracy by room and floor, using indoor positioning technology across all facilities
  • Enhanced 24/7 mental wellbeing support for staff, allowing earlier intervention and reducing workplace stress
  • Mass notifications and targeted notifications, increasing resilience and reducing the impact potential of major incidents

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