When the biomedical engineering department at PinnacleHealth receives a nurse's request to track another piece of equipment, Director George Morley generally responds with a supportive yes - even if the item in question is as small as a key or as inexpensive as a thermometer. For Morley, the value is based less on the cost of the device and more on the value of a clinician's time.
Radianse RFID tags for healthcare equipment
"We tend to focus on fixing what slows down healthcare, keeping a nurse away from the bedside or a patient out of his room," said Morley who will present a case study at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) 2008. Radianse is an AAMI exhibitor in Booth #830, May 31-June 2, San Jose, California.
PinnacleHealth has used a Radianse real-time location system (RTLS) for the past three years. Morley's introduction to Radianse was through the company's patient tracking application, installed in 2005 and used since to support better throughput for more than 20,000 patients undergoing surgical procedures each year. In 2006, Radianse Reveal Asset Tracking was deployed enterprise-wide at Harrisburg Hospital, one of four PinnacleHealth facilities in Central Pennsylvania. To date, 4,500 devices have been tagged, including keys to pain-controlled anesthesia (PCA) pumps, wheelchairs, defibrillators, beds, stretchers - even vacuum cleaners. Morley expects to tag at least 8,000 items.
Increased efficiency, communication and satisfaction
Morley will present "If it moves - tag it: A comparative study of RFID and Wi-Fi at AAMI" on May 31, 1:35 - 3 p.m., as part of the educational sessions. He will speak to the increased efficiency, communication and staff/patient satisfaction across perioperative areas, the subsequent expansion hospital-wide and the rationale for choosing the Radianse 433MHz-based system rather than Wi-Fi.
The 433MHz radio location band has been approved by the Federal Communications Commission for more than 60 years, has excellent body worn and indoor transmission properties and has proven to be interference-free.
"When we first began evaluating location systems, we opted to avoid the potential risk of Wi-Fi-based location interfering with other wireless systems in the hospital," said Morley. "Also, a hospital is a constantly changing environment. It's not like a warehouse. If access points get moved during construction or renovation here, the impact on location is significant. To this day, that remains my major concern."
"We have had a great development relationship with PinnacleHealth," said Manuel Lowenhaupt, MD, Radianse president and CEO. "As an early adopter, Morley and his team have pushed the limits on the potential of real-time location to improve their processes - and we have all learned much along the way. With every expansion, the technology is more able based on our collaboration."
PinnacleHealth is a charitable organization committed to improving the health and quality of life for the people of Central Pennsylvania. PinnacleHealth includes four campuses (Community, Harrisburg, Polyclinic and Cumberland), FamilyCare physician practices, home health and hospice services, FirstPlace urgent care center and an array of healthcare services.
Radianse, Inc. is solely focused on enabling healthcare process improvement using real-time location. The Radianse Reveal platform is powered by a hospital's existing wired or Wi-Fi network, enabling a single system for accurate, room-level location of assets, patients and/or staff. Radianse Reveal workflow applications and tools let hospitals measure and manage patient wait times, orders and lab status, where and when beds are available and whether equipment is clean and ready for use. More than 60 institutions have installed Radianse systems in the U.S. to see, analyze and respond to care as it happens, improving quality, safety and opportunities to reduce costs and increase revenue.