Assuring Patient & Staff Safety | Royal Adelaide Hospital

Assuring Patient & Staff Safety

How Royal Adelaide Hospital and Intelligent InSites developed a custom single duress solution to maximize safety in their psychiatric intensive care unit


One of the most technologically advanced healthcare facilities in Australia, Royal Adelaide Hospital opened in September 2017 with 800 beds supported by over 6,000 staff members. The hospital is the largest in South Australia and is operated as a public-private partnership by Celsus, in conjunction with the Government of South Australia.

A key component of this modern facility’s information and communications technology system is a wireless locating system (WLS), which allows managers to know where personnel, assets and equipment are at all times. The WLS provides many benefits, such as giving Royal Adelaide the ability to use a combination of ultrasound and wireless technology to track assets and at-risk patients throughout the hospital. 


The hospital had been using mobile staff duress functionality from Intelligent InSites for three years, where with a badge button press, staff would alert security personnel for assistance. Security were able to easily identify the location of staff needing help.

In their mental health facility, the hospital had deployed a fixed duress solution, where staff would have to reach a mounted button to signal an alert, and an audible alarm would sound to notify security and other staff. The challenge with this system was multi-pronged:

      • In a duress situation, staff were not always able to reach the button to call for help
      • The alert triggered was specific to that location only

If the staff member signaling the alert were to leave the room, the receiving staff would not have visibility into their new location. Staff needed assurance to know that no matter where they were in the facility, they would have the ability to call for – and receive – help.

This was extremely important for the opening of its 10-bed psychiatric intensive care unit – a robust staff duress alarm system needed to be fully functional. The opening of this unit was critical to alleviating overcrowding of mental health patients in the emergency department.


Building off of InSites RTLS operational platform, InSites custom engineering services team worked closely with Royal Adelaide and partner DXC Technology to customize a single solution that could report out on both mobile AND fixed duress events. This solution included a custom map view of the space, designed to display on wall boards throughout the unit.

Whether a mobile or fixed duress event is triggered, the wall board updates with the real-time location of the duress event. This allows not only the security team, but other staff members, to respond quickly to these situations, improving safety for both patients and staff.


Following development and extensive testing to ensure system uptime, the duress system was inspected and approved by the hospital’s Chief Psychiatrist, which was conditional to the unit opening. The Royal Adelaide Hospital Mental Health facility now has 24 acute care beds, 10 psychiatric intensive care beds and six short-stay beds.

“This not only eases pressure on our emergency departments but will enable us to treat our most acute patients in the most appropriate clinical setting on site.”

– Dr. Leslie Stephan, Clinical Director of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network Mental Health Directorate

Customer Profile

The 800-bed Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is the state’s flagship hospital, providing a comprehensive range of the most complex clinical care to an estimated 85,000 inpatients and 400,000 outpatients each year. The RAH is one of Australia’s most technologically advanced healthcare facilities, integrating the latest innovations across health, education and research to deliver high-quality care. As South Australia’s flagship hospital, the RAH provides a comprehensive range of complex care across medical, surgical, emergency, acute mental health, outpatient and diagnostic fields.


Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia: New RAH mental health beds to ease pressure on EDs.


Learn more about Intelligent InSites software solutions for the healthcare industry.

InSites for Clinics
Improve patient flow and increase staff productivity and efficiency.

InSites Asset Management
Save time and increase equipment utilization in your healthcare facility.

InSites for Acute Care
Improve patient flow and hold times in your emergency department.