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London's Great Ormond Street Hospital Deploys Wi-Fi Tags
The pediatric facility is using AeroScout's technology to ensure equipment can be located quickly as patients require treatment, and to track their maintenance.
Feb 17, 2011—London's Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has one of the widest ranges of children's health specialists in the United Kingdom, and patrons that include the British royal family. Many patients come to the hospital severely ill and in need of fast, comprehensive treatment. To improve its goal of having "no wait, no waste and zero harm," the pediatric hospital reports, it implemented a real-time location system (RTLS) using Wi-Fi-based sensors from AeroScout to track the locations of such assets as pumps, beds, cots, mattresses and wheelchairs throughout its facility. The system was installed by British IT consultancy Block Solutions.
Mark Large, GOSH's IT director, says the system—which was installed in the summer of 2010—has not been in place long enough to measure the cost or time savings that it has yielded for the hospital. However, he notes, staff members are successfully employing it to locate assets, as well as testing the system's ability to issue alerts if an item is taken from the facility, or if an alarm button is pressed.
GOSH treats 100,000 patients each year, with 353 beds on-site and a staff of 2,700. The hospital contacted AeroScout in March 2010, seeking a system that would enable it to track its assets using its existing Cisco Wi-Fi system. Not only are the facility's patients typically in need of expedient treatment for serious health issues, the workers are highly trained—and, as such, highly paid. Spending their time searching for equipment required by a patient, the hospital reports, is both costly and time-consuming.
"That is the no-wait aspect [of the hospital's motto]," says Joel Cook, AeroScout's director of health-care solutions marketing. "They don't want their highly paid clinical staff looking for things while they should be caring for a sick child." Lost equipment, including incubators and other specialized pediatric devices, had also cost the hospital hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Additionally, the hospital wanted a system that would integrate with preventative-maintenance management, in order to allow the tracking of maintenance and inspections, and print reports that would help management track equipment in need of servicing. "That's the zero-harm aspect," Cook explains. "When they have a sick child, they want to be absolutely sure the equipment has been properly maintained."
AeroScout installed the system over the course of two months, updating the Wi-Fi infrastructure to ensure it had full facility coverage, applying AeroScout tags to assets, and installing its MobileView software platform on the hospital's server, in order to manage location data and send alerts by e-mail or text message, as necessary.
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