Healthcare organizations are faced with an ongoing need to protect and locate their personnel and patients. The challenge is finding a solution that provides instant and constant visibility of their patients and staff, while helping them achieve greater security, compliance, and efficiencies, without trading in cost and care.
When assessing the tools and systems that might work for your healthcare facility, consider integrating a reliable, effective real-time location system (RTLS), complete with RFID tags and RFID reader solutions, into your business processes and organizational workflow.
What Exactly is RTLS?
A real-time location system (RTLS) is a precise positioning system that can be used to locate and protect both staff members and patients in real-time. Using constant communication between the system and tags, the enterprise is provided with immediate data on location and status.
RTLS solutions will often be developed to include single, dedicated active radio frequency identification (RFID) infrastructure that can expand and support a wide variety of applications — including real-time location, security, access control, and flow control.
The solution includes various RFID tags that store a unique identity and can be worn by, or attached to, patients, staff members and visitors. In addition, the solution includes technology platforms (Wi-Fi , Infrared, etc.), hardware infrastructure (RFID readers, exciters) and other system components (servers, software). An RTLS can also be integrated into a wider business solution that could consist of site management or production planning.
RTLS solutions are often associated with asset tracking systems but they have far greater capabilities. Whereas an asset tracking system can track an object based on its last location (when it was last read), an RTLS system is continuously and automatically in contact with the RTLS tag and knows precisely where the tagged object is at all times, not just when it passes through a designated exit or specific area of the organization.
The Benefits of RTLS Technology
Protection of your people
An effective RTLS solution is ideal for protecting one of your most critical assets — your people. Backed by RFID tracking, RTLS technology allows you to locate, monitor, and ensure the safety of your people with pinpoint accuracy and regardless of range.
In a healthcare setting, an RTLS technology solution can tell you patient locations in real-time, it can monitor the interactions between patients and caregivers, and it can let you know when a patient is discharged. An RTLS solution can provide alarms for when staff need assistance, particular in the case of violent incidents, and for patients prone to wandering or elopement by triggering alarms at key doors and exits. By wearing active RFID tags, including those with discrete push buttons, unparalleled protection can be given to staff and patients at all times.
An ultimate solution for efficiency gains
RTLS solutions can provide greater efficiencies when workflows can be tracked and automated, leading to improved processes and increased costs savings.
In a healthcare setting, hospital workflow can be improved thanks to less interruptions on staff time and resources. For example, when a patient is discharged, staff can be notified that the person’s room now needs cleaning. At Stamford Hospital in the U.S., administrators saved more than $627,000 during a recent seven-month trial period of a Hospital RTLS solution, with the savings achieved from patient bed days gained through improved efficiencies.
What are the GuardRFID® RTLS Solutions?
GuardRFID offers highly reliable and robust RTLS solutions. Our RTLS platform is a multi-purpose, reliable, high performance enterprise platform that supports an infinite number of staff, patient, and visitor applications, and offers the widest selection of tags to choose from. Offering security, safety, and functionality in one complete system, it includes both long-range location and instant choke-point detection because of its dual frequency implementation.
The platform can be configured to be a standalone system, or it can be a sub-net within the facility’s primary local network, making installation simple and cost-effective. Thanks to the IP-based nature of the system, options exist for remote monitoring, diagnostics, and software updates, which makes maintenance and management of the system easy and efficient.
Because the network is fully IP-based and built upon standard hardware and software, it can be implemented using wired Ethernet (with or without Power over Ethernet (PoE)).
GuardRFID offers a range of industry-specific and market-leading RTLS Solutions that include:
The GuardRFID Healthcare RTLS Solutions offer RTLS capability, portal detection, hospital asset tracking, and RFID patient tracking. The sector-specific solutions include:
An accurate, expandable real-time infant and paediatric security system, with the widest selection of tags to fit all your facility needs.
An advanced real-time duress call system available to healthcare workers and designed to give you and your staff assurance that they can communicate and call for help at a time of crisis, eliminating critical delays when that help is needed.
An industry-leading real-time wandering patient safety system for the visibility and security of your patients, with the smallest, toughest, longest-lasting active RFID tags in the industry.