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Children's of Alabama Expands RTLS Deployment for Asset Tracking

Having deployed Versus' RTLS at its Benjamin Russell Hospital, Children's of Alabama is installing it within its older building, and plans to use it to manage nurse emergency calls and monitor hand hygiene.
By Claire Swedberg
Mar 01, 2013When Children's of Alabama, in Birmingham, began constructing its new 760,000-square-foot Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, it strategized which type of technology could make the facility and its staff more efficient. Management met with biomedical, nursing and transportation employees, and found that tracking assets was a major priority. The hospital, however, also wanted infrastructure in place that would enable it to track personnel and patients, as well as hand-hygiene practices, in the future.

To accomplish this goal, the hospital worked with systems integrator VT Group Healthcare to install a Versus real-time location system (RTLS), used in conjunction with Four Rivers Software Systems' Total Maintenance System (TMS).

The hospital has attached Versus VER-1832 tags to 1,700 of its mobile high-value assets, such as this vital-signs monitor.

Since opening Benjamin Russell Hospital in August 2012, Children's of Alabama is now expanding its use of the RTLS solution to its older building adjoining the new facility, floor by floor, as renovation is conducted.

Initially, the RTLS is being utilized only for tracking assets, according to Jack Storey, the chief information officer at Children's of Alabama. The hospital has 13,000 pieces of mobile high-value medical equipment, and to date has tagged 1,700 of them—mostly ventilators, defibrillators, beds, IV pumps and stretchers. The hospital's priority was to make it easy for the new facility's staff to locate equipment when required for patients, as well as for maintenance and cleaning. Beds, for example, vary in size and style, based on a particular patient's needs and size. Therefore, simply finding the appropriate bed can be a time-consuming task for staff members, according to Jason Head, Children's of Alabama's biomedical engineering supervisor and certified biomedical equipment technician.

In addition, the biomedical department conducts monthly maintenance on its equipment, and personnel must search for each item in order to get the work done. Not only can some assets take days to locate, but some are never found and end up missing the maintenance schedule entirely.

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