Hospitals have long battled to balance patient care with limited resources. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 epidemic changed everything. Suddenly, they were flooded with extremely infectious individuals carrying a fatal disease.
Patient flow management has never been more critical, placing a burden on personnel. Beyond patient flow, contact tracking was required to prevent the spread of a terrible disease that would put the globe on lockdown.
Understand Your Use Cases
Keep in mind what you need and why. Most hospitals consider the following uses:
Ensure patient and guest comfort by monitoring the environment.
Indoor navigation services for patients and guests. Hospitals may be confusing to newcomers, and non-digital maps and signs can lead patients to be late for appointments.
Loss prevention, particularly of tiny medical equipment that may be thrown away or left behind by patients.
Better equipment maintenance.
This saves time during an emergency and improves efficiency during regular operations.
Helping employees move faster through the facility. In big, complex hospitals, traveling from room to room takes a long time.
When a patient has an issue, the system may page the nearest practitioner.
When a patient or family member gets violent, a nurse or other caregiver may immediately contact for assistance.
Healthcare is and always will be a growing business. As a hospital system expands, so must its tracking solution. When a novel solution is deployed, it is often piloted in a single building or portion of a building before being scaled up.
Ensure that whatever solution you employ is scalable. Avoiding the so-called proprietary trap. A flashy presentation may persuade facility managers to invest in complex
Another reason to include IT at all phases of the process. Both scalability and simplicity of usage are important.
Room Level vs. X/Y
Tracking in X and Y directions. The asset’s location is provided as a collection of coordinates. This enables accurate asset placement. This is common in warehousing and production. A picker must know not just where an item is but also which shelf it is on.
While X/Y monitoring seems to reduce time, it is far more costly. Real-time tracking solutions may be expensive for systems and hospitals. “In this room” suffices for the overwhelming majority of hospital usage cases. Hospitals monitor people as well as assets, so precision isn’t required.
Precision tracking is needed in a few cases. This may include hospital medications or lab samples. An exact solution for particular rooms may be developed at a reduced cost.
Last but not least, healthcare personnel must utilize these systems. Do not take nursing personnel off the job to train on the location system or make them acquire certifications.
Choose solutions that appear simple to use to your people on the ground, not simply pretend to be. Your ER director must be able to observe the crowd flow. Finding a clean IV pump requires nursing knowledge. A maintenance schedule is required.
The less isolated systems that individuals have to understand, the better. Ideally, your system should function.