Healthcare Optimization with RTLS Systems
Real-time location systems, often referred to by the acronym “RTLS“, is a software solution 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 RTLS 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. The HCI Visitor’s Log provides a layer of protection for healthcare systems by creating a record of rounds and patient care.
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 HCI digital whiteboards 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. All of this information is available as reporting in MediaCare.
RTLS for Patient Management, Locating Equipment and Care History
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 saved to the hospital whiteboard. 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. If patient wristbands are equipped with and RTLS device, administrators can monitor and track where patients are spending time and how long a caregiver is with a patient. RTLS is often used to locate equipment and assets to decrease patient wait times for mobility assistance, as for a wheelchair; and RTLS helps locate patients who may have left their room or not visited a restroom within a prescribed, preset period of time.
Hygiene Management with RTLS Systems
With COVID-19 worries 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 according to facility procedures. When connected to a “GoJo”-type 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.
RTLS systems deployed and connected to HCI’s Interactive Patient Care solution products support workflow cycles. Resources are more efficiently managed and real-time results offer trending information, reported through MediaCare for management to analyze supply and staffing levels.
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