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Personnel & Asset Location Systems for Healthcare Facilities

Last Updated: January 28, 2017

In the healthcare industry, it can be vitally important to know where your staff, patients and assets are at all times. While a global positioning system (GPS) is useful for outdoor applications, this technology fails to repeat the same level of success and precision indoors. That’s why your healthcare facility might need a personnel and asset location system—keep reading to learn more about how they work and the benefits they bring to healthcare facilities of all types.

How Does a Personnel & Asset Location System Work?

The purpose of this type of system is to identify and track the whereabouts of vital staff members and equipment in real time. This is possible thanks to a combination of components, features, and technology working together seamlessly.

Here’s how it works:

  • Fixed location sensors are installed throughout the building.
  • Tags or badges are attached to objects of interest or given to patients and key staff members. Each tag transmits a unique ID in the form of a wireless signal, which the location sensors pick up.
  • Location engine software communicates with tags and sensors to determine the location of tagged personnel and assets.
  • Staff members log into the system from a workstation or run an application on a mobile device to search for the person or object they need. Depending on the accuracy of your particular system, the individual or item’s location is narrowed down to a few rooms or a specific location within a room.

Applications of Personnel & Asset Location Systems in Healthcare

Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living apartments, and other healthcare facilities can all utilize personnel and asset location systems. With knowledge of where key people or assets are located, your staff members can use a real-time locating system to:

  • Quickly find doctors and nurses to handle a medical emergency.
  • Give patients the ability to summon help using tags equipped with panic buttons.
  • Track the physical movements of patients for their safety.
  • Alert staff and pinpoint the precise location of a resident who has wandered off.
  • Trigger automatic door locks if a patient passes too close to an exit.
  • Track patient mobility using tags equipped with motion sensors.
  • Record how long care assistants tend to a patient for billing purposes.
  • Monitor the flow of patients from department to department and use this information to determine effective staff allocation.
  • Detect when patient ID tags accidentally end up in laundry chutes, saving them from being damaged in the wash.
  • Tell whether a tagged device is powered on.
  • Toggle asset statuses using tags equipped with push buttons. For example, a staff member could label a bed as “occupied” or “assigned,” or mark a device as “requires repair” or “due for inspection.”
  • Communicate information or alerts between staff members by using tags equipped with buzzers, LED lights, LCD screens, or voice-to-voice capability.

Benefits of Personnel & Asset Location Systems in Healthcare Facilities

The potential advantages of using real-time locating systems in healthcare facilities are plentiful. Personnel and asset location systems can:

  • Reduce equipment theft and accidental loss.
  • Prevent your staff from “hiding” or “hoarding” portable equipment.
  • Reduce capital expenditure by not over-purchasing portable equipment for your facility.
  • Decrease patient wait times by reducing how long it takes to find staff members or locate a wheelchair to transport the patient.
  • Quickly locate equipment that’s due for maintenance or repairs.
  • Increase bed turnaround rates for more efficient patient flow.
  • Reduce the number of ambulance diversions.
  • Increase patient and staff member satisfaction.

How to Select the Right Personnel & Asset Location System

The key to a successful real-time locating system is to choose the right solution for the application at hand. A particular technology may offer outstanding merits, but if it doesn’t match your intended application, budget, and future expansion plans, the system is doomed to fail, or at least achieve less-than-optimal results.

To help you choose the right personnel and asset location system, include as many stakeholders as possible in the selection process. This helps you avoid resistance to new procedures and working practices that come when introducing this type of system for the first time.

You should also collaborate with a life safety contractor (like State Systems if you’re located in the Mid-South) for help choosing a system that will work best for your healthcare facility. Everything from ID tag capabilities to signal transmission options affects how well your personnel and asset location system will work for you.

Let State Systems Help You Implement a Personnel & Asset Location System

Clearly, real-time locating systems are incredibly useful for providing cost savings, improved efficiency, and increased staff and patient satisfaction. If you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of selecting the right solution for your healthcare facility, State Systems is here to lend a hand. Our goal is to help you achieve all the possible benefits from your personnel and asset location system.

Contact us today to learn more about the solutions we offer our healthcare customers.

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Cole H. Dennis Read More