How Radio Waves Remedy Patient Bottlenecks

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , August 23, 2011

And they've used the RFID data to reduce the time it takes to move patients into a bed. The tracking system and electronic bed-management system are interfaced: When staff post a patient for admission in the RTLS tracker, the information is automatically sent to the bed management system, alerting transport and bed management staff.

"It was the data from the tracker that allowed us to look at every interval that that patient went through and then start to ask if all of these intervals are necessary. Because every time they have to go through a separate, distinct process, there's a price tag," Laskowski-Jones says. "And the price tag is time."

Process redesigns like these led to another positive outcome—now the ED can now handle more volume. Fewer patients leave without treatment—a major cause of patient dissatisfaction.

Read more about the myriad ways organizations, including Christiana Care, Massachusetts General Hospital, and The Ohio State University Medical Center are using RFID and RTLS to keep small but expensive medical devices out of the Dumpster, prevent clinical technology "hoarding," and make nurses happier (hint: It involves saving them time) in the August issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Also, learn how The Roy and Patricia Disney Family Cancer Center in Burbank, CA, uses RFID tags to track the location of its patients as they move through the system in order to improve their experience while there: Disney Applies Technology to Improve Patient Experience

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