Healthcare Optimization with RTLS
Real-time location systems, also known as “RTLS”, is a tool used in the healthcare space to track entry and exit of staff members in and out of patient rooms, locate equipment, locate and monitor patients, provide hygiene tracking and monitor patient rounds. These systems provide the location of staff members throughout the healthcare facility setting and can locate individuals for response in a patient emergency. For staff safety, RTLS systems can pinpoint the location of staff for a security response or locate needed equipment. With an RTLS system, decision-makers can optimize staffing levels and patient throughput.
Providing patients and their family or caregivers with information on their Care Team members helps relieve patient anxiety about who is on their Care Team and provides family members a log of staff visits and rounding to ensure their loved one is safe and being seen regularly.
RTLS Systems Provide Real Time Data for Analysis and Resource Management
RTLS systems tie into HCI Digital Whiteboards through MediaCare, an enterprise-wide integration platform, to show Next and Last Round times and which staff member is scheduled, or who saw the patient last in real time. This information is displayed on the Interactive Hall Whiteboard, Interactive Patient Whiteboard and Interactive Unit Whiteboard for immediate ID of staff in a patient’s room. As soon as the staff member enters or exits a patient room, all devices automatically update with their information. Photo identification provides an additional layer of reassurance for patients and their loved ones. Family and caregivers can view the Next and Last Round information on the digital whiteboards, know who to expect, and match the displayed name, title and photo to the staff member.
KLAS research shows that facilities that implement an RTLS system have realized a 95% increase in operational efficiency. When a member of the Care Team enters a note about the round on any of the connected interactive touchscreens, that note is automatically updated in the patient’s electronic health record. When a patient is not alert during a round, the record generated provides a history that the round was completed, even though the patient was not alert. Management can use the information on time spent with patients for staffing decisions, training or monitoring throughout. If patient wristbands are equipped with and RTLS device, administrators can monitor and track where patients are spending time; locate equipment to decrease patient wait times for mobility assistance, as for a wheelchair; and RTLS can support patients who may have left their room or not visited a restroom within a prescribed, preset period of time.
In the time of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases and HAIs, RTLS systems can be tied to hand washing or hand hygiene stations to track when hand-washing events occur. This also provides patients and caregivers with information to ensure good hygiene is being practiced. When connected ted to a “GoJo” hand sanitation system, a hand-washing icon will appear on the HCI Interactive Whiteboards as a visual cue when the staff member has used the station, and other customizable icons or signals can be incorporated into the Interactive Patient Care system.
The benefits to patients and hospital management are many when an RTLS systems deployed and connected to HCI’s Interactive Patient Care solution products. Workflow cycles can be more efficiently managed and real-time results offer trending information, reported through MediaCare for financial and human resource management to analyze supply and staffing levels.
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