I remember the first time I was introduced to real-time locating systems (widely known as RTLS, real-time location systems or services, and even RFID) in healthcare. It was 2011 and I had just transferred departments to manage the Pharmacy Informatics team at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. They had just installed a new RTLS system.
The team had deployed temperature monitoring in pharmacy refrigerators and freezers, along with asset tracking. Within three weeks of going live, the ultrasound and Wi-Fi based solution detected and alerted staff to an imminent failure of one of the refrigerators. This alert gave pharmacists enough time to respond and move expense drugs from the failing refrigerator to a properly functioning one, resulting in a very large cost-avoidance savings.
This event alone had a huge impact on me. It taught me that there was a new era of automation emerging in healthcare and I wanted more! Immediately my mind started dreaming about new use cases and innovative ways to use the RTLS system. Not long after that, I was introduced to patient and staff tracking technologies, and then I truly fell in love. Over the next several years, we expanded the RTLS program exponentially and I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of for the rest of my career.
I met the leaders of Infinite Leap back in 2015 and could not have been more impressed with their RTLS in healthcare accomplishments and focus. By then, I had already begun my quest to learn where the best use cases of patient and staff tracking were in the country. We quickly built strong relationships with hospitals like Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and Florida Hospital – Celebration Health in Orlando. Both were doing some outstanding work with RTLS technology and still are to this day. But through Infinite Leap, I learned about the vastly impressive RTLS implementations they had completed at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center house-wide, in Winston-Salem, NC, using advanced motion-detecting technology and healthcare-specific software and workflows. I found myself being really jealous that these guys at Infinite Leap were able to do this fun kind of work every day!
So when the opportunity presented itself to join Infinite Leap team as a senior leader, I “leaped” at the chance (haha, yes, pun intended)! That’s not to say that it was an easy choice to leave the MD Anderson family. Its mission of Making Cancer History is one that we can ALL relate to – with hopes and prayers that they accomplish that mission soon! I had been there for 15 years and made great, long-lasting professional relationships and personal friendships. MD Anderson has a way of attracting the best and the brightest from all over the country and the world. I had the gift and the pleasure of getting to work with and learn from so many of them!
Having said that, I am a HUGE believer in, and advocate for, real-time locating systems in healthcare. We all know that healthcare, in general, has a long way to go in being more efficient. Patient wait times are still very high in a lot of places, and patient satisfaction is still suffering as a result. Some hospitals are still basing their appointment templates and length of stay estimations on anecdotal opinions and tribal history. There are many opportunities for improvement in healthcare workflows that have nothing to do with the talent and highly qualified capabilities of the clinical providers themselves.
At the end of the day though, hospitals and providers take care of us. Yes, we may have to wait longer than we want to, so we feel inconvenienced and annoyed by that. But ultimately, we’re examined, cared for and cured. I’m sure as a provider, it can be a truly thankless job considering the level of expertise and years of training it took to be able to effectively diagnose folks with a high degree of accuracy. Sometimes we as patients take physicians for granted and choose to focus on the inconveniences we experienced while at the hospital.
Kent Blanchard wrote a book called, “Raving Fans.” The incredible concept of the book is that customer satisfaction should NOT be our goal. Customers can be “satisfied”, but still leave disappointed or annoyed by certain aspects of their experience. The risk here is that, once you’re not “the only game in town”, or someone finds a better enchilada than the one you’re making, the customer will go someplace else and you’ll never know why… But if we go out of our way, as customer service providers, to pay close attention to every need of the customer, and to literally go above and beyond, providing a level of service that the customer does not expect, making them feel comfortable, cared for, and appreciated, then we’ll have created “Raving Fans!” Raving fans come back time and time again, and they will tell their friends to come see you too.
I’ve always considered real-time locating systems a potential tool to help hospitals create “Raving Fans” by helping operations with the “blind spot” of healthcare. I am super-excited to begin my new role as Vice President of Professional Services here at Infinite Leap. I can’t wait to begin helping hospitals more easily view their blind spots, enabling them to be more aware of their patient’s needs and status through every stage of their visit.
Being able to educate and partner with many different healthcare providers to understand how to leverage and benefit from the use of RTLS technologies to help them create “Raving Patients” is why I am here at Infinite Leap, and I could not be more excited and look forward to creating a raving client in you.