• How a Real Time Locating System can Benefit Your Healthcare Facility

  • By: Beth Machall-Dwyer, Account Executive

    In my role, I have the opportunity to work with hospitals who wish to implement or best leverage their Real Time Locating System. Also know as RTLS, a Real Time Locating System essentially is a wireless infrastructure comprised of strategically placed devices (most often ceiling mounted) that together, create a positioning system for locating and tracking mobile tags while moving through a hospital.

    RTLS collects the tag location data to where it can be presented, managed, and integrated with other systems (such as Nurse Call, smart beds, and EMR Systems). This improves hospital operations, creates a better work environment for staff—and above all—it improves a patient’s care and hospital experience.

    Once in place, RTLS also monitors and improves caregiver hand hygiene practices for infection control. This is done through wireless interactions between staff tags and devices mounted in or on dispensers and sinks. Transmitters with temperature and environmental sensors communicate data automatically for required monitoring compliance requirements.

    You may be asking yourself, “With all these beneficial capabilities, where do I begin?” This is where ESCO Communications can step in! We can help you develop an implementation plan.

    We will recommend a multi-step rollout that frequently starts with initiating staff-locating in clinical areas and integrating it to an intelligent nurse call system. With this foundation in place, other uses can progressively be layered on top (and quite economically as well).

    Personally, I find it fascinating how this technology offers so many benefits once the initial wireless foundation is built. But like so many things in life, in order to keep a system operating at top performance, it must be properly maintained.

    ESCO is a business partner with CenTrak, the award-winning industry leader in RTLS. CenTrak makes it easy to create a proactive maintenance program for those that would be responsible for it. Their web-based portal system monitors will notify and report the system’s operational health and the battery life of all system devices.

    There is so much more to be said about this but here are a few key takeaways:

    1. Consider all possible use cases that may be leveraged when selecting a RTLS system for your hospital
    2. Develop a system maintenance plan and define responsible parties early in or prior to installation
    3. Contact ESCO to learn more or to help devise and execute a RTLS Plan!