Built-In Panic Alarms: Why Your Clinical System’s Panic Button Might Not Be Enough

If you work in healthcare, whether it’s in the NHS or a private facility, your clinical system may have a built-in panic alarm. It’s tempting to simply rely on this panic button, since it already sits within your system and you won’t have to pay for another piece of software. But the truth is, these built-in panic buttons aren’t always enough.

Your clinical system’s panic alarm might not be as reliable in an emergency. When a patient or staff member needs assistance, you want to be able to raise the alert quickly and easily from your PC or mobile, so that help is on its way immediately. 

But what happens if your system logs you out, or your internet connection goes down? You could waste precious minutes trying to find your panic alarm before you can even let anyone know that you need help.

We know it’s easier to stick with a built-in solution for your panic alarm software, but it’s not necessarily safer. Read on to find out why it’s better to have a dedicated panic button for your clinical setting to keep staff and patients safe.

Why is it better to use Little Green Button instead of your clinical system’s built-in panic alarm?

1. It’s available on desktop AND mobile

Little Green Button operates seamlessly across desktop and mobile devices, meaning that your staff can hit the button for assistance even if they’re out in the community. 

With clinical system panic alarms, you have to be logged in to use them. If the worst happens and you need to raise an alert, you could waste precious minutes by trying to log in to your clinical system and find the panic button hidden within the additional features. During this time, a patient could become more unwell or an aggressor could block your access to your machine so you can’t raise the alert. 

Since you and your colleagues won’t have access to your clinical system on mobile, it can make it much harder to raise an alert without an aggressor seeing you, or in locations where desktop computers aren’t available. 

Having Little Green Button on both Android and iOS devices means that community workers and staff in more remote parts of a building are still as protected as those in front of desktop machines.

Find out more about the Little Green Button mobile app here.

2. It works without internet access

Your clinical system needs access to the internet to work. So if your connection is down, you won’t be able to raise an alert, leaving your staff and patients vulnerable. Plus, the system will only alert other online, logged-in users – so your alarm might not even be raised to the right people.

The Little Green Button desktop software works on the .NET Framework, so it doesn’t need an internet connection to send and receive alerts to other devices on the same network. Raise the alarm whenever you need it and help will be on the way.

3. You can set up groups and escalation paths

Little Green Button configuration settings showing an escalation path for an alert

Little Green Button is highly customisable, allowing you to set up your own rules for who to send alerts to. You may want to set up groups so that only certain people are sent an alert in different parts of your practice, ward or hospital. 

For example, if you are located on the ground floor, you may only want to send an alert to other people on the ground floor to avoid disrupting busy staff who are too far away to assist you. But what happens if no one from the ground floor responds? Then you can use escalation paths to determine who’s alerted next.

Set up an escalation path so that if no one from the ground floor responds, you can then escalate the alert to another group – perhaps the second floor or the security room. 

With a clinical system, the alert will always be sent out to all active users, disrupting staff in other areas of the building and potentially affecting patient care.

4. You can add hardware

a Big Green Button plugged into a USB port of a laptop, illuminated greenUnlike your clinical system, you can add a physical panic button to your panic alarm software. Little Green Button offers Big Green Buttons which plug into your device’s USB port, allowing you to send alerts from a locked PC.

The Big Green Button is ideal for concealing under desks to allow you to discreetly raise an alert without an angry or upset patient noticing. It can also speed up raising the alarm when your PC is locked, ensuring assistance arrives as soon as possible.

While offering discretion, our physical panic buttons also have the benefit of being extremely visible! Some customers find they work well as a visual deterrent, as a potential aggressor knows that one hit of the Big Green Button will mean that help is on the way.

5. It’s easier to locate – it’s always there!

The Little Green Button sits on your desktop above all other applications, so it’s always visible no matter what’s on your screen. Simply click the button and an alert will appear on your colleague’s screens or mobiles, letting them know where you are and that you need help.

On the other hand, built-in panic buttons are often buried within the clinical system, making them harder to find and delaying help. 

6. It’s customisable

a woman sitting at a desk writing in a notebook with her computer screen on, showing the Little Green Button hovering in the cornerYou can customise Little Green Button to suit your clinical setting. It can sit prominently on your screen, or you can minimise it so it’s not in your way but still clearly accessible. 

You can also set Little Green Button to be silent, so only notification messages pop up when an alert is raised rather than an alarm sound. This is ideal for clinic rooms where it might not be appropriate for an audible alarm to go off when staff are treating patients. 

Conversely, clinical system panic alarms usually have no customisation available. You simply have to use their alarm the way that it’s configured, which often is not enough for busy practices with lots of staff and patients moving through them every day.

7. We are experts in workplace safety

Clinical systems are brilliant. They have so many functions to support practice management and patient care. So while they have a panic alarm built in, it’s just an add-on – it’s not part of their core offering. That means it might not be subject to the same rigorous testing and development as the other functions of the clinical system.

If panic alarm software isn’t tested and updated regularly, it might not work when you need it to. Bugs can go undetected until the alarm needs to be used, leaving staff and patients vulnerable when they need it most.

Little Green Button is a dedicated panic alarm software solution, meaning everything we do is for workplace safety. Our team works every day to ensure that our software continues to protect our customers, and we’ve had 100% uptime for the last year. Plus, we’re CREST penetration test accredited and Cyber Essentials Plus certified, so you know that you can rely on our panic alarm solution to keep you, your staff and your patients safe.

So, while your clinical system may offer a panic button, it might not be enough to keep staff and patients safe. With the possibility of downtime, delayed alerts and little to no customisation available, it’s better to find a panic alarm solution that you can tailor to meet your clinical setting’s needs.