CIOs play an important role in the acquisition and support of any Real-Time Locating Services (RTLS) program in healthcare. In my past experience, as an IS Divisional leader for a large medical research center, I have seen how a CIO’s endorsement of the technology can mean so much for internal customers wanting to leverage RTLS to manage their operations. For this reason, CIOs, as well as other leaders within Information Services, should have a basic understanding of RTLS and the use cases this technology can support in healthcare.
RTLS is a location-based framework made up of many different technologies for the purposes of locating and monitoring things in real time. For a brief dive into the various technologies leveraged for RTLS in healthcare, click here for a blog entry written by John Swart, our VP of Solutions. It is a great start for any IS leader wanting to begin educating themselves on this growing technology in healthcare.
RTLS Systems are Incredibly Useful Tools
In addition to being informed about the technology itself, a CIO also needs to understand that RTLS systems, if implemented correctly and monitored appropriately, add unique value to healthcare organizations like no other technology or manual process can.
RTLS is leveraged to find assets, track their usage, and manage inventory levels to support operations and eliminate waste. RTLS Environmental Monitoring technologies assist in preventing loss/spoilage of valuable inventory such as refrigerated drugs, blood products, and frozen human embryos by eliminating the need for routine physical inspection of refrigerator or freezer health by highly paid clinical staff, and by providing proactive alerts to staff members letting them know there may be a problem with the refrigeration unit itself. RTLS is also used to monitor clinical activity to keep clinical staff safe, assist in the reduction of patient wait times, and provide visibility into clinical space, literally behind closed doors.
RTLS Technology Should Not Be Underestimated
If you think you already know what RTLS is and what it can do, I would ask that you dig a little deeper into some of the use cases described above and consider how far RTLS has come in the last 5-10 years.
RTLS infrastructure is highly sophisticated and capable of room-level accuracy useful for monitoring and gathering important contextual time points necessary to change the way your hospital operates. RTLS is a segment of the healthcare industry where real innovation and real change is happening, enabling hospitals to be more efficient with the resources they have, positively affecting the bottom line.
Here Is How YOU Can Help
Please reach out to me if you would like to learn more about this technology and what you should know to successfully support it in your organization.