As any medical professional knows, safety in the hospital environment is paramount. Now more than ever, hospitals need to ensure that staff members are safe and accounted for at all times.
Hospital RTLS can provide a layer of protection that keeps personnel from harm’s way and allows them to focus on what they do best – taking care of patients. Let’s explore the use of RTLS systems in healthcare facilities and how they improve safety within the perimeters.
What is RTLS And How Does It Work in Hospitals?
Real-Time Location System (RTLS) technology allows you to track the exact location of people, equipment, and even animals in real-time. It uses a combination of wireless sensor networks, radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, and wireless transmitters to track movement within a specific area.
This technology has been used in hospitals for many years to improve patient safety and streamline operations. Now it can be used to keep the staff safe as well.
Hospital RTLS is a system used to track and monitor personnel within a hospital setting in real-time. It uses wireless technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Wi-Fi, or Ultra Wideband (UWB), depending on the needs of the system user.
How does RTLS work in hospitals?
Real-time location systems within a healthcare facility work by equipping staff with tags (usually worn as lanyards or badges) that communicate with fixed receivers strategically placed around the facility. This system allows hospital administrators to know exactly where each staff member is located.
In addition to providing an up-to-the-minute view of personnel location, hospital RTLS also offers a host of other features like asset tracking designed specifically for healthcare facilities.
For instance, it can be used to monitor patient flow throughout the facility, alert staff when objects enter restricted areas, track medical equipment, and even automate administrative tasks such as room cleaning schedules. By having all this information available in one easy-to-use dashboard interface, hospitals can reduce miscommunication and ensure efficiency without sacrificing patient safety.
How Does Hospital RTLS Protect Staff?
Working in a hospital can be extremely stressful, especially when it comes to managing staff and resources. That’s why healthcare facilities often implement a real-time location system. Here are some ways in which a hospital RTLS protects its staff from potential harm.
Accurate Visibility of Staff Members
With an RTLS system, you can easily monitor the whereabouts of staff members throughout the facility at any given time. This helps ensure that everyone is where they should be and eliminates the need for manual attendance check-ins. The accuracy of RTLS systems also makes it easier to track staff hours for payroll purposes.
RTLS systems make communication between medical staff much simpler. Administrators can quickly assign tasks or send messages to certain individuals or groups of people without having to physically locate them. This ensures that critical tasks are completed quickly and efficiently without wasting time scouring for particular individuals.
One of the main benefits of using an RTLS system is improved security. With the ability to track and monitor individuals in real-time, administrators can quickly identify potential safety risks and intervene before any harm is done. The data collected by the system can also be used to identify trends or patterns that could lead to potential security issues in the future, allowing administrators to stay one step ahead of any potential problems.
Benefits of Using Hospital RTLS
While the primary benefit of RTLS is improved safety and increased efficiency, there are plenty of additional advantages that come with its use. Let’s find out more about the advantages of RTLS in the hospital setting.
Improved Patient Safety and Care Quality
The most obvious advantage of using RTLS technology in hospitals is improved patient care. With accurate real-time location data at their fingertips, healthcare staff can quickly locate critical equipment, identify areas where care is needed the most, and proactively take measures to prevent errors or delays in care delivery.
In addition, RTLS technology can be used to track high-value hospital assets like ventilators or defibrillators to ensure they are always available when needed.
Reduced Costs and Increased Efficiency
Hospitals can also benefit from using RTLS through reduced operational costs and increased efficiency. For example, by tracking the exact location of each piece of medical equipment throughout the facility, hospitals can better manage their inventory levels and prevent unnecessary purchases.
Similarly, staff time spent looking for misplaced items can be greatly reduced as well since they can immediately see where any item is located in real-time on their computer screens or mobile devices. This increases efficiency across departments while also reducing waste from overstocking supplies or purchasing duplicate items due to poor inventory management.
Improved Care Quality
Finally, by leveraging the data generated by an RTLS system, healthcare providers gain valuable insights into how their facilities are functioning and where improvements can be made.
By monitoring activity patterns such as wait times for patient visits or the number of successful procedures completed per day/week/month/year, hospital administrators have a powerful tool at their disposal for evaluating performance and identifying areas that need improvement. This helps facilities better allocate resources while ensuring that quality care and patient satisfaction standards remain consistent over time.
Case Studies On Hospital RTLS
In wake of rising cases of Covid-19, hospitals are undertaking stringent infection prevention and control measures. This includes the implementation of various tools and processes to quarantine and treat the infected people/areas under the threat of possible infection. Using an RTLS system, the hospital improved the visibility in monitoring staff and patients. The RTLS platform also helped introduce a Contact Tracing solution to optimize the process of automating data capture, reporting, and analysis of the proximity between staff, visitors, and patients.
Field Hospitals are a necessary imitation of healthcare systems during emergencies and can provide all treatment and triage environments when fitted with the appropriate technology. An ultrasound-based RTLS system provides crucial contact tracing data to regulate and maintain the spread of infection in and around their mobile medical systems to reliably and consistently track staff and equipment movement.
A pre-eminent healthcare system faced troubles with fatal workplace violence with the nurses reporting physical attacks by patients and visitors. Despite the presence of active security and panic buttons throughout the campus, the need for stringent staff security became obvious over time. An RTLS Staff Duress system can be used by the healthcare security team to supply the most efficient and swift emergency solution.
The Future of RTLS in the Medical Industry
RTLS have revolutionized how medical staff, patients, and equipment are tracked inside a healthcare facility. From personnel tracking to asset management, RTLS systems provide healthcare providers with enhanced safety and efficiency.
Technology is constantly changing and improving; so what does the future hold for Healthcare RTLS solutions?
RTLS technology is already helping healthcare facilities in many ways. It provides essential data on patient movement patterns and staff locations, resulting in improved workflow efficiency. RTLS can also help reduce the risk of lost or stolen equipment by providing real-time tracking information.
In addition, it allows medical staff to quickly locate critical supplies and equipment such as defibrillators and wheelchairs. This reduces response time for emergencies and increases patient safety.
As technology advances, we can expect to see more efficient, cost-effective solutions for every healthcare organization. Cloud-based systems will become more popular due to their scalability and ability to store large amounts of data securely.
Additionally, new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) will be leveraged to provide more accurate insights into patient movements and staff activities within a facility. This could lead to improved patient outcomes by enabling medical professionals to anticipate needs before they arise.
The more recent utilization of Ultra Wide Band (UWB) in RTLS systems provides accurate location data at long distances with extremely low power consumption. This makes it ideal for healthcare applications where accuracy is paramount but battery life must be maximized.
Additionally, UWB’s ability to penetrate walls and other obstacles makes it an excellent choice for indoor applications where GPS signals may be blocked or unreliable. Furthermore, UWB supports much higher data rates than other wireless technologies which allows it to process large amounts of data quickly and accurately.
With a rising decline in healthcare workers and the need to scale operational efficiency but also cut down on healthcare costs, RTLS solutions that facilitate asset management in real-time are in high demand.
The future of RTLS in healthcare systems is a bright prospect and will become increasingly so if utilized in an ideal combination of innovation and technology to suit various medical tasks.
Litum – Providing Reliable Hospital RTLS Solutions
A healthcare setting is challenging to navigate, and more so, to operate. An RTLS solution intended to boost the operational efficiency of the facility also comes with its challenges.
Fortunately, Litum offers RTLS Healthcare services like real-time asset tracking and hospital staff tracking services designed specifically for clinics, hospitals, and senior living centers.
Our system allows you to secure assets including staff and hospital equipment, monitor patient flow status constantly to counter abductions, falls, and no-zone wandering, as well as follow up with inactivity alerts.
Our comprehensively connected system design includes operations like patient flow, care monitoring, workload management, logistics management, and claim mitigation suited for organizations of all capacities.
If what you seek is a customized healthcare professionals safety RTLS Solution for your hospital system, reach out to Litum today and explore our numerous RTLS-based solutions at your convenience.