Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, one of the largest Hospital Trusts in England, has selected Paragon-ID’s RFID Discovery system to track beds and hoists around their three main Hospitals: Birmingham Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope.

The RFiD system will be tracking a total fleet of approximately 1800 beds and hoists ensuring they are maintained and tested at the prescribed intervals. This reduces non-productive time as well as the risk of beds and hoists being used in service while the recommended service interval is exceeded.

Paragon-ID was chosen following the successful use of RFID Discovery by the Medical Engineering team at Heartlands Hospital, where the RFiD Discovery system has been in use over a number of years to help track in excess of 2000 mobile medical devices for example, infusion pumps and monitors.

Mounting pressures on budgets and resources combined with increasing patient numbers are forcing NHS Trusts to look for smarter ways of improving operational efficiency. Tracking the location of beds and equipment through location aware technology helps drive improved efficiency and maximize utilisation.

David Smith, Estates Manager at the Heart of England NHS Trust, explains: “In hospitals beds can directly affect patient care and are a resource that needs to be managed effectively. Being able to record their location will be extremely useful. Due to the physical size of our hospitals it is often difficult to establish exactly where beds are and this system will reduce time spent by Estates staff looking for beds or hoists for either routine maintenance or to rectify a fault.“

Andy James, Sales Manager for RFID Discovery, added: “Specialist beds can quite easily become lost amongst a row of standard beds. RFID technology can help identify specialist units so they can be located quickly when required.”

RFID Discovery provides hospitals with the ability to locate beds using a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) location based solution. Each bed is fitted with an active RFID tag attached to its frame. The tag sends a regular message which is picked up by a network of fixed readers placed at various locations throughout the 3 hospitals. In addition, mobile readers are also used by the clinical engineering and estates teams to audit wards in a fraction of the time it normally takes. Staff can access online software to interrogate data and establish the location of beds in need of repair or service. The system also helps support the timely return of rental beds to avoid paying unnecessary additional rental charges or the cost of replacement fees for lost equipment.

RFID Discovery has been fully integrated with Heart of England’s Planet Facilities Management System from Qube. This means that location data for each bed is accessible directly through the Planet FM database.

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