4 Ways To Improve Your Healthcare Facility Using Real-Time Tracking Technologies
Your midwives are struggling to find incubators for new-born babies; your wards are being fined for lost hospital beds; your medicines are expiring before clinicians know they need to be used. When it comes to healthcare facilities, the cost of lost efficiencies can be life-changing.
In this blog, we will explore four ways that RTLS technologies can improve your healthcare facility, preventing day-to-day disruption while generating insights to better inform decision-makers.
Specifically, we will look at examples of how RTLS solutions can be used to:
What Is Real-Time Tracking Technology?
Real-time tracking technologies, or real-time location systems (RTLS), can be used to track the positioning and performance of your assets, in real-time.
One of the ways in which this can be done is by using smart tagging technologies (like RFID tags) to digitise assets - like people, products or high-value equipment. As smart tags pass through sensors around your facility, they provide central systems with information relating to their whereabouts and usage.
At a high level, applications include:
Inventory & Asset Tracking: RFID technologies are widely used for asset and inventory tracking, as they can communicate wirelessly with readers placed strategically around facility chokepoints.
Fleet Tracking & Navigation: Within fleets, RTLS solutions can be used to track vehicle locations, monitor speeds, optimize routes, schedule jobs, aid navigation and even analyse driver efficiency.
Workforce Tracking: This can sound a little dystopian, but monitoring the whereabouts and activity of your workforce means keeping employees safe, compliant and informed with the right information at any one point in time.
Mobile Security & Connectivity: RTLS technologies can enable business leaders to set location, user and role-based policies to protect data and optimise connectivity for agile workers.
Within healthcare facilities, RTLS solutions have been used for the following...
St. John’s Hospital have implemented a low-cost RTLS solution to provide real-time alarms to increase hand hygiene compliance during opportune moments in an open layout ICU (Intensive Care Unit). This significantly improved hand sanitation, enabled management to identify target-areas for improvement, and made visible key times throughout the day when sanitation practices lulled.
Monitor Assets In Real-Time
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust have implemented RTLS technologies to track hospital beds and medical devices. By tagging each piece of equipment, using an active RFID tag, central databases can show the location where each asset was last ‘seen’ by the system, and hospitals can improve maintenance efficiency, patient safety and compliancy.
Improve Site Security
The Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust implemented RFID wristbands to reduce patient identification errors in surgery. This RTLS solution links smart wristbands to patient records, so that when they are scanned by fixed or mobile readers, clinician's have immediate access to accurate patient-centric data. Now, Heartland's NHS Trust can feel reassured that they are not at risk of litigation from operations conducted on the wrong person due to mistaken identity. They have also elevated patient experiences, and made it easier to manage 'who' is 'where' within their wards.
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (CUH) implemented RTLS technologies to create RFID tagged patient-specific tote boxes, to prevent theatre staff from overstocking and having to manually report stock usage. As a result, CUH were able to reduce their store-rooms, from three rooms, to just one, while bringing their cost-per-case down by around 5%. Transactional activities were automated, in some places, leading to a 69% drop in manual purchase orders across the theatre's directorate.
Trusted Experts In RTLS Solutions
All of these solutions are well within reach for NHS and Private Trusts across the entirety of the UK, and MiTEQ would love to work with you on digitising workflows and improving your facilities management.
Between the team, we have several decades' worth of experience working both within and alongside the NHS, utilising close-working relationships with the likes of Zebra Technologies, Kinsetsu, Servelec and Imprivata to deliver modern mobility solutions to those at the forefront of care provision.