Due to the pandemic, hospitals and care facilities have been experiencing greater patient numbers leading to pressures to accelerate digital transformation to increase efficiency. At BeaconZone, these are the main reasons customers have been using locating systems:
- To save time searching for equipment, particularly highly mobile equipment such as wheelchairs
- To monitor the location and temperature of medicines
- To monitor the location of hospital porters
- To track the location of vulnerable patients
- To audit the visiting of care givers to patients
However, there are many more areas suitable for increasing efficiency and safety:
- Tracking expensive assets such as beds and medical devices
- Tracking rental/borrowed equipment to ensure they are returned on time to avoid unintended costs
- Staff distress SOS for increased safety
- Hygiene management, for example, on hand washing stations
- Inventory counts and stock checks
- Analysis of workflows to detect choke points and streamline processes
- Production of key metrics such as time being spent with patients, patient throughput and wait times
Time saved improving the above activities leads to more time being spent with patients and hence potentially saved lives.
Here are some considerations if you are comparing solutions:
- Tag costs – Prefer commodity rather than proprietary hardware to reduce costs and allow 2nd sourcing to reduce future risk
- Real time – Prefer systems that detect continuously over those that rely on error-prone manual scanning
- Scalable – Prefer software systems that will scale financially, particularly in large hospitals
- Ongoing costs – Prefer systems that have known future system costs – ideally with a one-off licence rather than varying subscription.
One final tip. It’s our experience that healthcare providers under-estimate the human element in attempting to implement new systems. There are often internal problems as to who will be responsible for a) purchasing, b) installing and c) running new systems. Work these out and agree up-front before embarking on these transformative changes so as to prevent your project becoming blocked.