THE VALUE OF RTLS
Real-time location systems are ;nding new niches
where their tracking powers can be put to use.
By Elizabeth Gardner
Hospitalsareusingthecur- rent generation of real- time location systems to do more than locate things, or even people.
While only 10 to 15 percent of hospitals
have an RTLS installed, according to a survey released last year by KLAS Research,
Orem, Utah, they’re using the data generated by the systems to reform work;ows—
saving time, money, construction costs,
and the need to hire extra sta;. ;ey’re
even increasing the e;ciency of collecting
co-pays at discharge.
Jay Deady, CEO of RTLS vendor Awarepoint, San Diego, estimates that with EHR
integration, equipment tracking, and people tracking, a fully implemented RTLS can
save an institution between $3 and $7 for
every dollar invested. About 190 hospitals
have Awarepoint’s technology installed,
and they have seen a return on areas ranging from ED throughput to infection prevention, he says.
“We can track the work;ow and see if a
piece of equipment hasn’t been cleaned
properly and is about to go into a patient’s
room,” Deady says. “It’s not the fault of the
caregiver, who found it in the clean equipment area. But our system can ;re alerts
and get the equipment out of the room before the patient is infected.” He says about
20 percent of equipment is not properly
cleaned between uses.
Location systems can automatically document intervals of time:—when a patient