It is no secret that the recent pandemic has taken a significant toll on the healthcare industry due to the rise in critical patients, safety risks, a decrease in staff and critical medical supplies. As hospice management seeks new ways to hire and retain staff, they must also realign their current operations and provide their teams with the necessary support that they need. Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS), an IoT technology, is one such support solution that could greatly help exhausted and resource-constrained staff.
An RTLS platform with active-RFID technology and connected applications comprised of IoT-enabled devices, such as RFID tags, sensors, and badges, provides real-time and past locations of patients, staff, medical equipment, and more. Using this system reduces the time needed to locate and get to vital assets, automates manual and repetitive processes, and allows hospital management access to operational analytics that reveals insights on safety concerns and workflow bottlenecks. RTLS capabilities like asset management, duress response, clinical and operational workflow alleviate burdens on healthcare professionals so they can return their focus to patient care.
Why Investing In Real-Time Location Services Equates To Investing In Staff
Under challenging circumstances like today’s post-COVID era, tokens of appreciation and messages of gratitude do not suffice to encourage exhausted staff to remain at their posts. Given how healthcare staff has been heavily burdened physically, mentally, and emotionally during the past two years, healthcare organisations need to create a more supportive and effective work environment. Emerging technologies like RTLS can improve healthcare jobs by making them safer, efficient, and productive. Let us now look at some of the positives RTLS can bring to healthcare.
1. Asset management
Many nurses report spending so much time hunting for equipment during shifts that could have been better allocated for patient care. Implementing an RTLS-enabled RFID asset tracking in Singapore resolves this by enabling medical staff to locate such equipment in mere minutes, which helps save precious time, reduce stress, and ensure patients receive timely care.
RTLS achieves this by providing a bay-level map and real-time room views, listing medical equipment locations and usage, and notifying when equipment needs maintenance, cleaning or calibration. Periodic Automatic Replenishment-level inventory management can also be automated to ensure medical devices in facilities are always readily available. Hospice admins can then check the system’s backend to monitor inventory utilisation and identify inefficient workflows. This feature is critical in reducing potential stressors amid supply chain difficulties.
2. Automated nurse calls
Healthcare facilities can easily integrate RTLS into their existing nurse call system, improving it to be fully automated. This creates a simple solution that improves team communication and offers other benefits.
For instance, when caregivers enter a patient’s room, their RTLS-enabled ID or badge can automatically cancel the call and document the time of their arrival and total care time with precision. This allows caregivers to immediately focus on the patient and their needs, saving time and creating a better experience. Furthermore, unbiased and reliable data support the staff and mitigate potential accusations or liability issues regarding the quality of patient care.
3. Clinical workflows
With RTLS technology, healthcare facilities can reduce bottlenecks in their clinical workflow and improve the overall coordination of individual patient care. Medical staff can better keep tabs on critical patient flow metrics like room utilisation, patient volume, patient wait times, length of stay, etc. By knowing beforehand where patients stand in the care process, caregivers can effectively manage their workflow, minimise wait times, and devote more effort to providing quality patient care.
The demand for healthcare has greatly increased over the past two years with no signs of slowing down. With the power of IoT-enabled devices, RTLS and RFID have proven to be a must-have resource for boosting hospice efficiency and promoting the safety, efficiency, and health of healthcare professionals.
In these challenging times, healthcare workers are undoubtedly essential, so they should be provided with the best support within their organisation. Health systems must adopt automated workflow solutions to enable healthcare providers to work smarter, not harder. The result is reduced operational costs of care delivery in a repeatable and scalable manner while improving patient outcomes with their safety a main focus point.