• Environmental Monitoring

  • By: Beth Machall-Dwyer, CTS, Account Executive

    There are many inherent values of RTLS (Real-time Locating System) technology in a hospital environment that are well documented.  A properly designed locating system with well-engineered products help to create a safe, healing environment for patients.  Wireless tracking technology on a caregivers’ badge automates processes and creates operational efficiencies that would otherwise take away from direct patient care.

    The same wireless technology can also track and manage medical equipment, monitor staff hand sanitizing compliance (i.e., Hand Hygiene) and even track and document patients’ activities throughout their hospital stay. Another RTLS use – and one that I am particularly interested in – is Environmental Monitoring.  Consider how environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and air pressure impact the usability and validity of medications, blood, patient lab specimens and even food.  If any of these are not stored and properly documented as such, they must be thrown out.  If an environmental change goes unnoticed, the impact on a patient can be serious if not terminal.  Also consider the financial loss to the hospital or organization, as well as, all of the regulatory compliance implications.

    The room environment follows this same principle.  Consider the vulnerability of a patient’s health during surgery or when held in isolation when proper air pressure/flow direction is critical.  Again, the results can be devastating.

    There are many different products, systems and methods that hospitals and organizations use to help keep their environment in check.  What I have found is they help but don’t provide the level of detail and usability that ESCO Communications is able to offer with Centrak’s Environmental Monitoring technology.

    Centrak operates via the RTLS wireless network or a building’s existing Wi-Fi network.  A few system standout features include the automated monitoring and collecting of environmental data, the local sensor display, and the mobile app.  The automated process means it is no longer necessary to pay an employee to come in on the weekend to manually check and record on paper the temperature or humidity settings.  Compliance reports are automatically generated or created on-demand.  The local sensor display means anyone at the refrigerator or in a controlled room can quickly and easily confirm the current environment and can respond accordingly.  The mobile app means that when the environment is out of compliance, designated staff are immediately notified at their smart device or by a centrally located flashing strobe lamp, rather than on the computer Monday morning after the damage is done.  All of these features with continuous monitoring of the situation result in improved regulatory compliance, less loss, safer patients, and greater operational efficiency.

    This same monitoring technology works well in data network closets and other areas where air conditions impact equipment performance and longevity, too.

    If you would like to learn more about how Environmental Monitoring can help you, please contact ESCO Communication today!