Real time locating systems (RTLS) are an excellent way to manage healthcare devices and provide solutions to alleviate the challenges faced by hospitals every day.
With a unifying platform, healthcare providers can consolidate the management and tracking of medical equipment and create an effective system that eliminates disparity between islands of wireless vendor solutions. AiRISTA helps healthcare providers build a robust network of connected devices that:
Using an RTLS solution in hospitals allows you to automatically track and identify devices and people within a facility, providing you with location and status information in real time. Using technologies such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and others, RTLS can be used in a wide variety of applications. Each of the RTLS tags is connected via the local network, allowing them to be monitored through a digital platform that is easily accessible for staff anywhere in the hospital.
Using RTLS in healthcare environments has significant benefits for medical professionals and patients alike. Not only do device tags allow staff to quickly and conveniently locate vital equipment when it’s needed, but patient welfare and whereabouts can be monitored more carefully and precisely. This can be of utmost importance in circumstances where patients are at risk of falls or absconding.
Hospitals can take great advantage of RTLS due to the coverage of wireless technologies used. RTLS devices are well suited for campus environments or buildings segmented into multiple departments . Hospitals usually fit this profile, as they tend to be large, sprawling buildings that have been internally segmented into different wards and specialism areas with an existing network to connect to RTLS devices and software. The use of mobile RTLS devices such as wearable badges or tags can greatly increase the value of real time location tracking.
Other useful ways in which RTLS devices and systems can be valuable in healthcare include:
Healthcare is an incredibly dynamic and active industry. Healthcare systems and providers must manage a variable flow of patients and staff members while also keeping an active eye on the use of equipment, facilities and other resources. Additionally, healthcare providers must be able to immediately respond to emergencies. This requires the ability to instantaneously and accurately account for staff members and equipment.
Implementing RTLS can have significant benefits for both patients and healthcare professionals.
The use of RTLS to automatically track patients or equipment gives staff members immediate visibility into their resource management. Not only does this make it quicker and easier to locate assets when they’re required, but it also means equipment will be used more effectively and regularly, reducing the need to purchase or lease more than is needed.
RTLS can also be used for temperature and condition monitoring in rooms and refrigerators , ensuring optimum conditions are maintained for patient care and the reduction of medicine spoilage .
Staff tags can provide immediate backup or assistance to emergency solutions with programmable buttons that alert nearby colleagues to a situation, improving response times and increasing the likelihood of an effective resolution.
AiRISTA has commissioned a survey of customers and their practical experience using RTLS solutions. The survey’s insights offer best practices and suggestions for how to best manage and extend an RTLS solution.
One aspect of healthcare that takes up a lot of resources and time is the effective management of patient flow. Keeping accurate information on the whereabouts of patients is vital to providing a high level of care, whether it’s to ensure their safety, quickly locate them in case of an emergency or to maintain a strict schedule of medication or assessment. An accurate record of patient flow allows staff to use flow analysis technology to identify bottleneck points in the system and make adjustments to increase productivity while easing pressure on the workforce.
Additionally, in instances where a patient is prone to wandering, it’s especially important for medical staff to be able to effectively determine their location or be alerted to them leaving a designated area.
With the use of RTLS technology, patients can be assigned a uniquely identifiable RFID tracker wristband, which provides staff with their real time location so they can always be located when necessary. This provides accurate, reliable monitoring throughout the time the patient is in the care of the hospital.
Providing hospital staff with an RTLS badge they can both help patients better and remain safe while doing it.
Staff RTLS tags allow for active location tracking, so the whereabouts of each healthcare worker is easily ascertainable. They can also be programmed with duress alerts, which automatically use indoor positioning to “ping” nearby devices and send the real time location of a distressed worker anywhere in the hospital. This notifies fellow carers and enables them to use the tracking technology of the tag to pinpoint where an emergency situation of staff duress is, reducing response times and potentially averting a serious incident.
A common challenge faced in the healthcare sector is the optimal use and active tracking of medical equipment and assets. Oftentimes, hospitals have sufficient equipment and devices to accommodate their requirement, but due to misplacement and uncertainty they aren’t utilized as effectively as they could be.
RTLS technology allows asset management to become intrinsically connected via healthcare IT. Each device can be fitted with a uniquely identifiable RFID tag, so every critical asset is accounted for and itemized in a comprehensive inventory. By maintaining a centralized, accurate inventory of everything within a facility, placement and distribution are easier to strategize so that each critical asset is best placed to be most available and beneficial to hospital staff and reduce equipment hoarding.
Combining asset management with location tracking RTLS technology means that the immediate accessibility of hospital assets can be increased significantly. Furthermore, “hot spots” can be identified to allow for better equipment assignment across the hospital.
At AiRISTA, our products and services have helped the healthcare industry improve operational efficiency and staff safety and management with healthcare RTLS solutions.
Here are some examples of the impact an RTLS system can have on a healthcare organization:
California State Hospitals
The California State Hospital system required a process that would improve staff safety while also allowing for better monitoring and tracking of staff members and important resources. Using AiRISTA’s line of healthcare specific RTLS products, the California State Hospital in Napa Valley was able to reduce the number of incidents and better protect team members.
Prisma Health needed a way to provide instant visibility to hospital managers and administrators on the location of their equipment. Understanding where equipment was at any given time would allow managers and staff members to better coordinate patient flow and day-to-day workflows.
Using AiRISTA’s wireless RTLS tags, Prisma Health was able to enable asset tracking on their equipment across multiple facilities. The tags allow staff members to immediately locate over 1,000 infusion pumps and other medical equipment through web-accessible facility maps.
The maps not only give out a device’s physical location, but they also indicate the status and condition of the equipment. By looking at the asset tracking maps, staff members can see not only what equipment is accessible to use, but also which ones are in use, cleaned or otherwise available to use.
As one of the world’s leaders in RTLS healthcare solutions, AiRISTA provides the following products and services.
AiRISTA’s Unified Vision RTLS Staff Safety Solution provides an effective and efficient wearable device that allows users to broadcast instant alerts to security and nearby personnel.
Leverage your existing Wi-Fi networks to track assets such as medical equipment and supplies in real time. Optimize your material management and distribution teams with up-to-date information on your resources to improve efficiency and utilization.
Better manage the flow of patients to your emergency rooms and offices and departments with RTLS solutions. RTLS strategies will allow you to forecast the availability of your staff members with greater confidence as you receive immediate intelligence and visibility from data-collecting devices.
Capture, log and monitor the temperature of patient rooms, refrigeration units, clinical labs, blood banks or other healthcare facilities with temperature monitoring systems. Condition monitoring devices allow for instantaneous and continuous readings with high accuracy and can enhance the quality and safety of care for patients and staff members.
Prevent senior citizen elopement at assisted living or nursing home with RTLS devices and solutions. Wearable RTLS badges can also improve patient safety, by allowing for departure detection, automatic or remote door locking and security system integration.
Improve your hygiene and compliance efforts with location data on wearable badges. Ensure proper handwashing and hygiene practices are followed and dramatically reduce the spread of disease within your facilities.
AiRISTA offers RTLS solutions that can be tailored to accommodate any budget or facility. Our specially designed system for RTLS solution management is adaptable to fulfill the specific needs and requirements of your medical facility. We pride ourselves on ensuring that our services will solve your challenges and pain points through a flexible, creative approach to problem solving.
Learn more about what AiRISTA can do for you by booking a no-obligation, free demo of our sofia system today.
A variety of low-cost tags with push-button activation typically used by housekeeping staff for generating easy and reliable panic alerts
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