Leveraging Technology for RAN Safety

Ms Heather Keighley1

1NT Health, Darwin, Australia


In 2016 the death of Remote Area Nurse Gayle Woodford triggered widespread concern about the safety and security of nurses and midwives working in remote communities across Australia.  In response to these events the Northern Territory (NT) Department of Health initiated a review into safety policies and practice across NTG Health services.  This paper will discuss the recommendations and consider the impact of technological advances in protecting staff safety and security.

The implementation process so far will be presented including technological challenges and how innovative solutions can provide safety supports for nurses and midwives in remote and isolated settings.  The recommended strategies include communication systems, information and data technology solutions.  The experience of the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Office in leading the review and implementation process across the NT will be discussed.

The future plan to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of initiatives will be presented.




Heather is a Registered Nurse over forty years of experience in nursing and midwifery, mainly in the NT with an emphasis on primary health care, clinical education, clinical governance, and quality improvement. She is currently working as the Acting Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer for the Northern Territory Department of Health in Darwin, NT.