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Capitol Briefs: Cox Medical Center Branson providing staff with safety panic buttons

Cox Medical Center Branson (CMBC) staff will receive personal panic buttons after assaults by patients increased drastically in 2020. 

The buttons will allow inpatient hospital and emergency room staff to initiate a tracking system during an incident. The system will notify security of their location and alert other staff members to the danger. The system will be used by 300-400 employees and is expected to be in place by the end of the year. 

“The biggest part of being in health care now is not only being able to give excellent care to your patient you’ve been assigned and to make them feel safe, but to also feel safe yourself as their primary caregiver,” Patient Safety Administrator Angie Smith said. “I look at our [workplace violence] numbers daily, and I am hoping along with our already great team of Security personnel, this will just be an added benefit for our staff to help ensure their safety while being the best for those who need them.”

  • More than 120 assaults occurred in the hospital last year, three times the number reported in 2019. Assaults leading to injuries also rose from 42 percent to 63 percent, according to the hospital. 
  • The Skaggs Foundation funded the system through a grant. Skaggs Legacy Endowment Grant Committee Chair Nita Jane Ayres said the $132,000 endowment was approved shortly after it was presented before the committee last month. 
  • The system was tested at CoxSouth in Springfield in early 2020. The alerts are “efficient in engaging swift responses to calls in duress,” according to a statement from CMBC.