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Care Traffic Control Glossary

Asset Tracking

You cannot manage what you cannot observe. Information such as the number of ventilators and their locations is key to managing them. Tracking is the process of recording and storing this information so that it can be used to manage these items.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy)

BLE tags are small devices attached to items for tracking purposes. These devices send their location back to the asset management software constantly.

  • They use the common Bluetooth communication protocol and the “low energy” part of their name refers to their power efficiency. Their small batteries can last for months and even years.
  • Bluetooth low energy is a more recent development within the tagging arena, some term it “active RFID”.

BOLO (Be On the Lookout)

BOLO is an abbreviation for “be on the lookout”. In a setting where assets are tracked with BLE tags, no one needs to stop what they are doing to “look out” for a key piece of equipment. With a BLE tag, the asset will tell the monitoring system where it is directly.

Digital Twin

A digital twin is a 3-D map of a healthcare facility, showing the rooms, walls, floors, corridors, elevators, and ramps. These areas may be further subdivided into areas that are patient-centric or [whatever behind the scenes is called] for routing patients appropriately in hospital wayfinding applications.

Exits

An exit is when a tracked item leaves the geofence/border of the facility.

Geofence

A geofence is a border around the edges of a building or campus to define whether tracked items are inside or outside its border.

Hospital Asset Management

Hospital asset management is the practice of observing and responding to the presence, absence, amount, and movement of hospital assets – including equipment, devices, and consumables.

Hospital Loss Prevention

One important reason for proactive asset management is to avoid loss. Loss may happen if an asset is simply misplaced, hoarded, or taken off-premises.

Maps

A map is a way to visualize location data. Just like global positioning systems can show your location on a highway, indoor maps show the location of tagged items within the hospital campus’s 3-D floor plan.

Real-time

While knowing changes in the history and location of tracked assets over time is useful, for locating something quickly, care teams must be able to know where it is right now. Real-time asset tracking systems provide up-to-the-second information on the whereabouts and counts of tracked assets.

RFID

Radio frequency identification is a method to track items with small devices attached (a chip and an antenna). These tags have been in use for tracking assets for decades and are quite customizable yet can be expensive to deploy.

RTLS

Real-time location services/system

Tags

Small devices on key assets help managers track their location and use. Tracking the location of hundreds and thousands of items within a healthcare campus manually is all but impossible.