Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) Providers About the Profession-Scope of Practice

According to Chapter 781 of Texas Health and Safety Code, a PERS system is defined as “an alarm system that is installed in the residence of a person; monitored by an alarm systems company; designed only to permit the person to signal the occurrence of a medical or personal emergency on the part of the person so that the company may dispatch appropriate aid; and not part of a combination of alarm systems that includes a burglar alarm or fire alarm”.

The basic parts of a PERS system are a small transmitter carried by the user or worn as a pendant, a receiver connected to a telephone, and a monitoring center which may be provided with the user’s medical or family information. The receiver and transmitter are either bought or leased, and a monthly fee is charged for monitoring services.

PERS providers and their employees are involved with all aspects of furnishing PERS services to the public, including telephone sales, in-home sales, installation, and maintenance checks. There are generally two types of monitoring centers used by PERS providers: locally based call centers, and national call centers. Actions taken by call centers upon receiving emergency calls, and the amount of user information maintained by call centers vary with different companies.

According to Chapter 781 of Texas Health and Safety Code all PERS providing entities must be officially licensed with DSHS and certain types of their employees must be registered with DSHS.

Certain PERS providers, including hospitals, are exempt from licensure requirements as provided in Texas Health and Safety Code, § 781.301 -§ 781.303.

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Last updated June 23, 2014