United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, one of the largest acute hospital trusts in England, has selected Harland Simon to supply a STANLEY Healthcare real time location tracking system (RTLS) to improve the management of mobile medical devices.
The new system will track the locations of over 1,500 devices to help improve visibility and utilisation in order to save capital expenditure and cut down valuable time spent by staff to locate medical equipment that has moved with a patient.
Starting with fast moving equipment such as volumetric infusion pumps, bladder scanners and procedure ultrasounds, devices will be tracked with an accuracy of 3 to 5 metres across the three main Trust sites: Lincoln County Hospital, Pilgrim Hospital Boston and Grantham and District Hospital.
Dr. Chris Hacking, Head of Clinical Engineering at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, comments: “We needed a tracking solution to support the implementation of a virtual medical equipment library to serve our three hospitals. The solution provided by Harland Simon and STANLEY Healthcare is ideal for us as it uses our existing wifi system and with 600 devices tagged so far, we are already seeing great results in locating equipment.”
Each device to be tracked is fitted with an active wifi RFID tag which broadcasts its unique ID at pre-set intervals. Signals are picked up by the hospital’s own wifi network infrastructure and data is then sent to a central database which calculates the current location of each tagged device.
Key to the implementation by Harland Simon was the integration with the Trust’s own equipment inventory database, MEMS. This means that location data for each device is available to Clinical Engineering staff through MEMS and there is no need for dual entry of device data.
Dr. Chris Hacking notes: “We didn’t realise just how much our equipment moves around within each hospital and between hospitals. The system will be a great help in getting transportable medical equipment to the right place at the right time for patient benefit.”
Clinical staff at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust will use a simple pictorial user search screen to help locate equipment quickly and free up valuable time for patient care.
Harland Simon’s RFID healthcare solutions are used by a growing number of hospitals in the UK to track locations of mobile medical devices such as infusion pumps, syringe drivers, enteral feed pumps, scanners, monitors, mattresses, hoists and beds to improve efficiency, save time and cut costs.