Medical Facilities are Complex Physical Environments—and They Need Specific RTLS Solutions
For mainstream medical facilities, healthcare centers and hospitals, RTLS solutions need to be easy-to-use, highly accurate and reliable above all.
We consider healthcare facilities to be complex physical environments for a few reasons. First of all, they’re often composed of a wide variety of building materials—concrete, steel, drywall, brick—that have varying levels of density. This variation can affect duress or location signal propagation by deflecting or containing signals (as is the case with dense materials like concrete), and also by allowing too much signal to bleed through (a factor with drywall and similar materials). Most facilities feature multiple floors, large ground-floor lobbies and storage areas, winding corridors, stairwells, commercial-style kitchens and other elements that can impede or confuse RTLS signal transmission.
Secondly, healthcare facilities contain numerous machines like CT scanners and X-rays that emit a significant amount of signals, potentially interfering with duress or location signals being emitted by an installed RTLS system.
And lastly, healthcare facilities are packed with a unique variety of staff, patients and extremely high-value equipment, making people and asset tracking a nuanced, critical area of focus.
Healthcare Professionals Face Violence Every Day—but the Right RTLS System Can Create a Culture of Safety
Healthcare and medical workers “encounter more nonfatal incidents of workplace violence than workers in any other profession,” according to a 2020 study published in The American Journal of Managed Care.
Similar studies have demonstrated the high likelihood of nurses and healthcare workers being verbally assaulted, physically grabbed or intimidated. A significant number of these violent incidents resulted in workers needing to take time off from their job due to physical injury or emotional distress.
How can RTLS help? By getting help where it’s needed, quickly, to de-escalate a situation and avoid emotional and physical trauma for both healthcare providers and patients. Some out-of-the-box RTLS setups rely on triangulation, overloaded WiFi networks or other technologies, which can delay duress signal propagation for up to 10 minutes—critical time in preventing or addressing a high-risk situation. Actall’s RTLS solution gets signals from a nurse’s duress button to a head-end monitor in 3.0 seconds or less.
Efficiency and the Smart Hospitals of the Future
Accurate tracking of high-value, critical hospital equipment, surgical tools, medication and more results in lower costs and better patient care. And bringing efficiencies to staff-patient interactions and billing improves hospital function, patient satisfaction and bottom lines.
The potential of RTLS to transform the hospitals and healthcare centers of the future is profound.
For more information about why Actall’s RTLS solution is perfect for hospital and healthcare settings, don’t hesitate to reach out.