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U.K. Hospital Pilots RFID for Bed and Hoist Tracking
Heart of England NHS Trust is using active RFID tags and readers from Harland Simon at one of its three hospitals to determine how well the technology helps manage the facility's 2,000 beds and hoists, to ensure they can be found, inspected and maintained in a timely manner.
Jul 15, 2015—
The Heart of England NHS Trust's estates department (responsible for managing the trust's hospital buildings, infrastructure and equipment) is piloting radio frequency identification technology at Good Hope Hospital to locate and manage its beds. The RFID system will track both standard and specialized beds, as well as hoists used to lift patients onto and off of them. Once fully deployed, the solution will track approximately 2,000 beds and hoists across the three hospitals, based on the pilot's results.
About a year ago, the trust's clinical engineering department—which manages mobile medical devices, such as infusion pumps and monitors—deployed an active RFID system provided by Harland Simon. It has attached active 2.4 GHz tags, which use a proprietary air-interface protocol, to each of about 2,000 medical devices, and is currently tracking their locations and movements among different sites within the three hospitals that make up the trust.
"If you can't find the beds, they might not be maintained," Smith explains, "and that could be a safety issue."
The solution, known as RFID Discovery, consists of proprietary readers deployed throughout the hospitals, as well as Discovery software residing on the departments' own servers. Andy James, Harland Simon's sales manager for RFID Discovery, says that for the Good Hope deployment, the RFID Discovery software is integrated with the hospital's Qube Global facilities-management software. In that way, staff members can look up a specific bed or hoist in the management software, along with its maintenance history, and view its location based on RFID Discovery read data.
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