ELERTS: A virtual escort watches out for YNHH employees

Yale New Haven Hospital employees can now have their own virtual escort while they are on campus property at any time of the day or night, thanks to a mobile app called ELERTS See Say™.

The app immediately connects to Protective Services and is designed for instances when employees feel their personal safety is threatened, such as when walking from the hospital to the parking lot at night. When activated, the app tracks an employee's every movement, every step of the way, sending the employee's location to Protective Services in real time.

"ELERTS See Say is another layer of security for employees," said Nicholas Proto, director, Protective Services and Parking. "When people use the app, our officers can monitor their journey from the time they activate it until they signal they've reached their destination safely."

The app uses a smartphone's GPS to relay a person's location to Protective Services. YNHH employees can download the free app by logging into Employee Self Service. Users should select the Security Tab, then ELERTS See Say and register by entering an email address when prompted. HRWeb will send the user an email with a link to complete the download. Users then receive an activation link in a second email from ELERTS.

Here's how ELERTS works:

  • Home screen options include a blue "Call Police" button and a red "Report a Problem" button, which provide immediate access to local emergency dispatch — no matter where you are.
  • To activate the virtual escort while on YNHH's New Haven campuses, press the "Escort Me" icon at the bottom of the screen.
  • On the next screen, hold your finger on the "Hold to Start" icon. Keep your finger on the smartphone until you reach your destination, then let go and press the "I Am Safe" button within 10 seconds.
  • To summon help, remove your finger from the phone or press "I Need Help." After 10 seconds, the break in the connection will alert Protective Services that you are in trouble. A dispatcher will call your cell phone. If there is no response, the dispatcher will call 911 and send officers from Protective Services (if you are on or in the vicinity of the York Street or Saint Raphael campuses) or call the New Haven Police Department if you are in other YNHH areas.

"Having this app at your fingertips is like having someone looking out for you," Proto said. "If we can help increase our employees' sense of safety and awareness, we are contributing to making Yale New Haven Hospital a safe environment for all."

Proto stressed that ELERTS See Say is an additional offering. YNHH will continue to have Protective Services staff act as shuttle, vehicle and walking escorts.