Prioritizing duties for healthcare professionals during peak hours is an occupational challenge, which eventually translates into below average throughput when not addressed at the right time. To address challenges related to patient experience in the healthcare sector, an efficient hospital management system has to go beyond being only a Real-time Location System (RTLS).
For improved throughput, an ‘integrated’ RTLS can help immensely in streamlining long wait-times and overcrowding. Added to this, the integrated system can evolve into a platform for building brand vitality through Location-based Services (LBS) and proximity marketing.
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What is an Integrated RTLS?
The last decade has witnessed considerable research related to the applicability of RTLS in the healthcare sector. While one research paper focuses on the technical aspects of an RTLS and outlines its applications in fair detail, another specifies how this technology can help in mental rehabilitation programs in a health care environment.
A more recent paper published in 2018 discusses the LoCATE (Localization of Health Center Assets Through an IoT Environment) solution, which uses wireless networks to track all patients and medical staff in real-time.
However, optimal healthcare management needs a holistic tech platform which can be used for indoor tracking, indoor positioning & indoor navigation, localization, workload synchronization, workforce reporting & conformity, marketing & promotions, and LBS.
RTLS technology when fused with facility management and marketing processes can be termed as an integrated RTLS which supports 360 degree operations of a healthcare facility.
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10 Key Features of an Integrated RTLS
- Works with Wi-Fi, Ultra wide-band (UWB), Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), Bluetooth, and Beacon technologies among others
- Real-time locating of assets & personnel
- Asset reservation and location bookmarking
- Step by step wayfinding to points of interest within the facility
- Reporting and metrics for space management
- Workforce collaboration through instant messaging
- Marketing gamification
- Safety tips, alerts & notifications during emergencies
- Data security through multi-layered encryption
- Location Based Services (LBS) for information and access to applications
Integrated RTLS – Improved Throughput for Healthcare Sector
It is interesting to know, mercy Health hospitals in the US recently implemented RTLS as part of their mobile asset utilization drive and saved millions of dollars in the financial year. The full report of this successful model can be read here.
On the other hand, Atrium Health averted a major situation when almost 2.65 million patients’ preliminary data was compromised due to a breach in its data security system. Fortunately, the third party vendor was able to arrest the situation before users’ sensitive details were grabbed by the hackers.
Healthcare facilities are prone to cyber-attacks and data theft as they process huge amounts of patient information for multiple health systems. This makes it easier for hackers to get into the system and obtain sensitive user information.
To address this concern it is important to integrate multiple hospital management systems into one flexible tech platform. This may require altering the existing IT infrastructure and remodeling it to achieve interoperability across different platforms such as Smartphones, tablets, and personal computers.
In the long run, however, an integrated RTLS will ensure improved throughput and a higher precision in tracking assets, reporting and data management.
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