Your security team can play a vital role during an emergency situation; however, they need to be aware that there is an emergency in the enterprise, the nature of the situation, and its precise location. With West’s Desk Alert solution, you’ll empower your security team with tools that help them to be of assistance in ways that were previously impossible.
By: Tricia McConnell, Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
On a Friday afternoon in the Emergency Call Relay Center (ECRC) at West, call volume is steady but manageable. A vehicle collides with a bus, which triggers a 9-1-1 call from the car’s telematics system. A registered nurse from a 24-hour hotline reports a caller complaining of chest pains and nausea. The ECRC call takers identify the location and nature of these emergencies then conduct warm transfers by contacting the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP) and confirming that the dispatcher and caller can communicate before dropping off.
The mood in the room back in October 2012 was significantly more intense. Then, as Hurricane Sandy surged up the east coast, PSAPs in impacted areas struggled to manage the overwhelming 9-1-1 call volume. The ECRC staff and other West employees worked extended shifts and through scheduled days off to help PSAPs respond to incoming 9-1-1 calls.
By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager
As I mentioned in a previous post, to optimize alarm monitoring center performance, you need AHJ contact data that is highly accurate and available in real time. Of these two attributes, I believe data accuracy is the more difficult to achieve.
I know from experience that even with a dedicated, full-time staff, creating and maintaining an agency contact database is challenging. Frequently, the consolidation of jurisdictions or adjustments to jurisdictional boundaries result in hours of work tracking which subscribers must be assigned to a new agency.
By: Peter White, GISP
One critical component of the transition to Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) systems is a shift from the use of tabular Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) and ALI data to a reliance on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data for location identification, validation, and call delivery. For agencies that are ready to progress to a GIS-based NG9-1-1 system, the process can seem daunting. Fortunately, West has gained significant experience in helping agencies create and deploy GIS data through our methodical, no-nonsense approach. This process has proven to reduce complexity and the risks associated with this substantial shift in 9-1-1 systems.
By: Mary Jo Lakhal, Sr. Program Manager
As many of you in the security and alarm industry know, West specializes in 9-1-1 technology and solutions for public safety, carriers, companies and educational organizations. In 9-1-1, the accuracy of the data (the caller’s location) and the speed at which that data is delivered to public safety are key to successful emergency outcomes.
Obviously, the faster we can identify where a 9-1-1 caller is, the better. Speed without accuracy sends first responders to the wrong address. Accuracy without speed delays response times and puts lives at risk.
We know this is true in the alarm industry, too—particularly in the monitoring center, where speed and efficiency translates to improved ROI and satisfied subscribers (less churn).
By: Doug Thompson, Director of Product Management and Development
Customers in every industry are evolving in step with the technology they touch. Advancements like vehicular Wi-Fi connectivity are becoming mainstream and the phrase “hang up” the phone has lost true meaning for anyone born in the last decade.
During my presentation at Forrester’s Digital Transformation, I discussed how brands must address more rapid consumer evolution and the symbiotic relationship between man and machine. The biggest takeaway? One must understand where your CX stands now in order to develop an adequate strategy to shift it to an ideal state.
Employees are traveling across the nation to attend meetings and conferences. Businesses are adopting tele-working policies and corporations are allowing teams to meet and brainstorm off-site. However, what happens when one of your remote employees dials 911 from their soft client? Does your organization know where they are? Can you connect them to the help they need in a timely manner? Though the ability for users to work remotely can provide organizations with greater flexibility, connecting these workers to E911 can represent a challenge to an enterprise.
Utility customers not only crave solutions for more reliable communication, but desperately need them. So when Hurricane Matthew tracked across Florida, a major utility partnered with West to provide the instant peace-of-mind their customers sought. Determined to keep customers in-the-know throughout Matthew’s entire lifecycle, they employed a number of communication strategies to ensure every customer’s voice was heard. When all was said and done, they successfully automated around 34,000 inbound calls, placed 2.3 million proactive outbound calls and saved $1 million along the way.
By Mike Synder
In healthcare, we love to highlight the latest innovations and medical breakthroughs—and while that first-of-its kind surgery is important, it’s also important to focus on the basics—which often prove to be not so basic.
One “basic” lesson for healthcare providers is that prescribing life-saving medications isn’t enough. Medications don’t work if patients don’t take them. In fact, studies have shown that 3 out of 4 patients do not take their medications as prescribed.
Now, this isn’t necessarily an ‘aha moment,’ but it’s an issue that has come to the forefront with the release of a recent Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the report, 70 percent of U.S. adults ages 65 and older have high blood pressure (which is defined as 140/90mmHg or higher), but nearly half do not have their blood pressure under control. What’s even more troubling is that at least 25% of those adults with Medicare Part D prescription drug insurance are not taking their blood pressure medicine as directed.
Whether that means skipping doses or forgoing the medicine altogether, it’s problematic. Not taking blood pressure medication contributes to higher risks of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, and death. Further, the CDC report highlights that some populations are more at risk than others, with the percentage of Medicare Part D enrollees not taking their blood pressure medicine being higher among certain racial/ethnic groups, like American Indians, Alaska Natives, Blacks and Hispanics, and in geographic areas like the Southern U.S. states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
At first glance, it’s easy to be baffled by those statistics. Why is it so difficult for patients to take their medications, especially when the consequences are potentially deadly? As the report explains, there are many reasons why patients don’t take their medications. Some fail to fill the prescription at all or forget to refill it on time. Others stop taking the pills because they don’t have noticeable symptoms or because they experience unwanted side effects. In some cases, medications are just too expensive for patients.
Regardless of the why, providers have a responsibility to empower patients, not only within the walls of the exam room, and at the pharmacy, but also at home, on-the go, and everywhere in between. After all, healthcare today spans across the continuum of care. It requires providers to connect with patients in new ways that are meaningful and relevant. It demands that providers adapt their communications to meet patients’ needs, rather than expect patients to adapt to their needs or preferences.
At the core of the important work that needs to be done is communication, which might be classified as basic, but is a shortcoming for many healthcare providers. This communication gap is arguably one of the biggest cracks in our healthcare ecosystem. At West, we know that engaged patients are healthier patients and that’s the foundation of everything we do. We believe that combining technology-enabled communications with clinical resources to help engage patients beyond the clinical setting, across the continuum of care, is critical to improving the patient experience, outcomes, and costs.
In order to be impactful, communication to increase medication adherence must be patient-centric, proactive, and consistent. We’ve learned that once communication becomes reactive, it’s usually too late to be effective. That’s why we offer providers the ability to send smart, automated communications like text messages, voice calls, and voice messages, based on language preference (multiple language on voice, and Spanish for text). With our approach, providers can personalize interventions, delivering the right communication, at the right time in the patient’s channel of choice. Our technology also helps providers to best allocate their clinical and administrative resources by assessing which patients are engaging with the communication as expected and which patients require an escalated intervention.
We’ve seen the results of these communication strategies firsthand at health systems across the country. By keeping our focus on patients, and leveraging technology, we can all make an impact and help to improve blood pressure control nationwide. And while that may seem ‘basic,’ the outcomes can be quite profound.