The goal of healthcare organizations–to provide the best possible patient care–comes with a host of everyday challenges that include “lost” transport team members and patients, delayed procedures caused by missing or misplaced equipment, and patients and visitors unable to find their way to appointments in the maze of hallways and buildings within hospitals and care systems.
To help achieve a goal of delivering superior patient care, healthcare organizations have used real-time location systems (RTLS) for asset tracking, team dispatch and wayfinding. These systems have been around for a while, and historically have been expensive, targeted point solutions that come with difficult to maintain hardware, turning an assortment of RTLS into islands that require different software and hardware. Emerging new technologies like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and WiFi-based indoor positioning systems (IPS) have created a resurgence of interest from leaders looking at more comprehensive solutions that integrate location information for patients and visitors, employees, and physical assets on a single platform.
A comprehensive location system (CLS) can create staffing efficiencies, cost savings with asset management, and simultaneously improve the patient and visitor experience…all while transforming those islands of individual system capabilities into a unified, streamlined, contiguous mainland.
Breaking down the benefits…one function at a time
Best-quality indoor maps are the core on which each piece of location functionality is built. Rather than separate, siloed IT systems that aren’t interoperable, have high ongoing maintenance costs, and only look at a piece of the location services puzzle, it’s much easier and more cost-effective to integrate location services in a single, centralized CLS platform. Let’s look at the benefits of having one platform for all functions within a CLS.
Real-time mobile team coordination, visualization, and dispatching save managers time, consolidate separate dispatching services, maximize the efficiency of each route or task an employee completes, and provide real-time insight into open job orders in the hospital. Dispatching helps:
- Prevent extra routes and wasted time for mobile teams
- Improve new team member training
- Enhance response times
- Provide chain-of-custody documentation
Real-time asset tracking within the hospital campus helps staff find what they need, when they need it, without wasting time, whether it’s a nurse looking for an IV pump or telemetry pack to care for a patient, or a clinical engineer looking for assets that have been recalled or in need of service. Lease and rental equipment costs can be substantially reduced, regulatory and compliance risks can be more easily mitigated, and asset utilization can be improved just by making it easier to reliably locate equipment. Asset tracking can:
- Prevent shrinkage
- Save money associated with surplus equipment and material purchases
- Avoid costs of renting surplus equipment
- Eliminate equipment hoarding
- Ensure timely inspections and maintenance that meet Joint Commission standards
Real-time patient and visitor wayfinding allows everyone to navigate through the hospital campus using their own mobile device, with turn-by-turn instructions to get them from wherever they may be on the campus to their appointment on time. Wayfinding helps:
- Stabilize Medicare reimbursements with improved patient satisfaction rankings
- Avoid costs of appointment no-shows
- Redirect volunteers to more value-added tasks
- Avoid knock-on scheduling delays
Calculating big picture ROI
Taken individually, each aspect of a CLS offers a return on investment for healthcare organizations. The biggest CLS benefit, though, is the cross-functional integration with a platform that is easy and cost-effective to deploy, manage and maintain. No more island systems, but rather a mainland CLS that allows hospital leadership and IT teams more time to review and act on insights and focus on providing the best possible patient care.
About Navv Systems
Navv Systems, Inc. was founded by doctors and healthcare leaders who have experienced firsthand challenges associated with missing equipment, long wait times for staff and deliveries, and frustrated patients. Navv provides care traffic control for health systems and hospitals nationwide that saves time with a solution that is scalable and affordable.