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Horizon Health Cuts Down Patient Response Time with Relay

Doctor wearing Relay talking with a patient


Illinois medical facility, Horizon Health, is driving innovation efforts with Relay. Using incident response capabilities to communicate and act faster has improved patient care for their community.

Doctor Showing Patient How to Use Relay Device

Innovation is Top-of-Mind for Community Hospital

Located in Paris, Illinois, Horizon Health has been committed to bringing high-quality medical care to its communities since 1970. Horizon Health’s network of facilities and experienced medical providers deliver specialty services to any member of the community, near or far, young or old. Determined to provide patients with the same level of care they would receive at larger, city-center hospitals, Horizon Health has become an innovator within the healthcare industry. 

Traditional Radios: Safety Hurdle and Communication Barrier

Similar to many other medical facilities, real-time communication is equally important and frustrating for Horizon Health. When patient safety is on the line, there’s no time to spare. Before Relay, Horizon Health was using multiple devices at once to send and receive messages between staff. Traditional radios being one of them. Unfortunately, the radios were picking up communications from nearby businesses and the lack of channels meant multiple departments had to share, overlapping urgent messages. 

When the facility had a patient in need of medical attention, it was difficult to reach the right team for help. Traditionally done by phone or running on foot, the response time was slower than they wanted. Horizon Health prides itself in always looking for better solutions that will benefit the community. Aaron Richardson, Diagnostic Imaging Director at Horizon Health, shared with us, “Anything we do as an organization has to be innovative. We have to continue to grow and modify everything we do because our patients won’t be able to access affordable top-level care otherwise.” He quickly started exploring other communication systems for the hospital to use.

Discovering the Value of Relay

Aaron went into his search looking for a radio replacement, so he was impressed by Relay’s real-time communication, location, and alert features, available for a fraction of the price of legacy technologies. He reached out to Relay, and a strong partnership was born. Horizon Health immediately recognized the value Relay would bring to their patient care through its built-in panic solution and rapid response communication capabilities. Additionally, departments would no longer have to share channels and relied on Relay’s nationwide coverage to communicate with their non-emergency transports 45-mins away.

Working Together to Improve Patient Care

The solution was initially rolled out to a few departments, but quickly gained interest from the entire facility. Horizon Health started seeing an increase in patient safety right away. Soon after Relay was brought on, Horizon Health’s overhead paging system stopped working. When Aaron reached out, Relay sprang into action. Working together, they got Horizon Health’s team up to speed on how to use Relay’s rapid response communication capabilities so everyone in the hospital could coordinate using the codes they already relied on. Being able to collaborate with Relay during emergency situations meant a lot to Aaron.

“Integration with Relay has been amazing. Relay keeps modifying and changing to meet the growing needs of the community and our organization. Now if our paging system goes down or there’s a severe weather situation, we can turn to our Relays.”

– Aaron Richardson, Diagnostic Imaging Director at Horizon Health

Sarah Tinsman, Patient Transport Supervisor, at Horizon Health also relies on the rapid response feature. Her team’s transportation hub has sights on the main parking lot, so they often need to jump into action to help patients who have fallen or need assistance on the way to their cars. Now equipped with Relay devices, the transport team can call for help without leaving their patients’ side. Using the rapid response feature to communicate exactly where the incident has happened has dropped response time to about a minute. In the past, it may have taken the hospital around six minutes just for the right help to arrive, and now the patient can be in the emergency room located on the other side of the building in that time. Being able to track response time has proved value for both Horizon Health and Relay. Sarah shared, “To see how quickly an incident was resolved, and watching it in action was mind-blowing.”

Seeing Results in the Community

The improved quality of care their patients receive has driven Horizon Health’s employees to rally behind Relay. They feel enabled to handle multiple patients at once and are more at ease knowing they can communicate faster, without interruptions or limitations. Being able to communicate on separate channels that are exclusively used by their specific teams, has improved daily workflow for many of the departments; including Patient Services, Radiology, Surgery, Respiratory Therapy, and even satellite clinics.

Speaking about how his fellow department leaders are using Relay, Aaron stated, “They’re doing amazing work with their Relays. I’m very proud of how well they’ve adopted and ran with them.” Horizon Health continues to push the limits of what they can do with Relay. Their innovation has not only increased staff morale and efficiency, it has improved the quality of care for an entire community.

Horizon Health Logo
  • Serving communities in Paris, Illinois since 1970

  • 25-bed critical access hospital



The patients of Horizon Health look to the organization for superior care that would be difficult to access or afford elsewhere. In order to consistently meet and exceed these expectations, Horizon Health identified the need for an enhanced communications solution for its staff.


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