PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — UnityPoint Health employees are piloting a safety program, hoping to give them a sense of security during house calls.
More than 110 home health, hospice, and palliative care team members have access to Peace of Mind devices, keychain-sized buttons that can be pressed to alert emergency dispatchers if workers feel unsafe while out on the job.
The “POM” device is connected to Safe App, allowing health workers to securely log their appointment schedules and send messages, as well as help health providers and emergency teams track their location if needed.
Mike Unes, Vice President of UnityPoint – Central Illinois Foundation, said the foundation purchased the devices for UnityPoint’s homecare and hospice workers.
“Our home care and hospice workers do such amazing work in the community and we’re just really proud to support them, it’s the right thing to do to help them as they help our community heal and get better,” Unes said.
Kara White, a registered nurse and home health lead, said the device provides employees with a sense of relief.
“It’s just a tiny little device that’s discreet and I can send out an SOS with three little taps and it’ll alert UnityPoint to my location and prompt a dispatcher to contact me to say ‘hey, are you okay,” White said.
She said it’s a tool she’s glad to have but hopes to never need.
“Thankfully, I’ve never had to actually use it, but if I did need it, I’d certainly be glad that I had it,” White said. “We’re out there sometimes very vulnerable and so that can be quite frightening so this is just peace of mind. It’s just one more layer of safety and protection for us.”
Unes also said UnityPoint Health Central Illinois is the first healthcare organization in the region to provide these devices to its team.
“UnityPoint Health Foundation is proud to support innovative technology like this, especially that it’s the first of its kind in the area for any home care or hospice workers to have a device like this,” Unes said.