Measuring the "Where" to Enhance Care

By deploying real-time location systems (RTLS), health care providers are adding another dimension in the drive toward improving the quality, safety and efficiency of care.

RTLS enables administrators to determine and track the real-time location of clinicians, patients and medical equipment. When coupled with workflow automation software technology, RTLS provides accurate, actionable information to aid in the optimal deployment of resources. It documents patient episodes of care to enable workflow and process improvement.

Real-time RTLS monitoring can help emergency departments improve patient throughput to avoid diversion of ambulances and the resulting loss of revenue. It can also provide documentation for patient-safety practices, such as hand-washing programs to reduce hospital-acquired infections, as well as compliance to many other protocols that affect outcomes and ratings.

Having the ability to locate patients, physicians, nurses and staff quickly through RTLS enables providers to remain on-time for procedures and more effectively coordinate treatment. When RTLS tagging eliminates unproductive, frustrating hours wasted in equipment searches, nurses can spend more time with patients to improve quality of care and satisfaction.

Hospitals and health systems that deploy RTLS technology have greater opportunities to improve quality, productivity and profitability. Knowing "where" is the next major leap in acquiring and applying data that can help health care providers meet the demands of health-care reform.

— Tom DeSanto

Image: Google Images,

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