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Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System Expands RTLS Usage

The Louisiana hospital operator is now installing a Skytron-CenTrak system at a second facility, with a third scheduled to go live after that.
By Claire Swedberg

To accomplish all this, says Terry Broussard, Our Lady of Lourdes' VP of support services, room-level accuracy is vital. That is why Skytron replaced the RTLS hardware it previously installed with CenTrak's Clinical-Grade Visibility solution, which includes an IR emitter, also known as a monitor, mounted in each room.

Each asset tag was input into the system, and was linked in the software to a description and other details, such as a preventative-maintenance date. Staff badges were assigned to specific employees, each of whom is responsible for bringing his or her badge to work for every shift. Each worker's badge is attached to the access card that individual uses to enter secured areas of the hospital.

The hospital has attached CenTrak tags to 1,274 pieces of its equipment.
As a patient or asset moves around the facility, the CenTrak Clinical Grade Visibility solution transmits its ID number, along with the ID from the IR emitter within the vicinity, and the Asset Manager software displays that data for authorized users. Staff members must log onto the system by entering their user name and password, and are then granted access to predetermined amounts of information regarding the asset's location and status. The security requirements can be configured according to the hospital's needs, Broder says, ranging from requiring no sign-on or password to authorizing only specific authorized.

Employees can access the Skytron Asset Manager software to locate a particular item, determine its status and history, and learn when it may require servicing in the future. The software can also issue alerts to authorized users when an unexpected action takes place, such as a specific asset leaving through an unexpected doorway or at an unanticipated time, thus indicating a possible theft.

The hospital has set up PAR levels of some equipment in specific areas of the system. For example, if fewer than two wheelchairs are located in an area such as the ER lobby, an alert is sent to the appropriate personnel, indicating that they must locate and move a wheelchair to that area.

In the event of a recall, the technology provides data regarding a recalled item's location. Staff members simply input each recalled item into the system, and then view its location within the hospital. The Asset Manager software also provides a record of which rooms an asset has been in, which can then be matched with patient records to determine which patients may have received services with that device. If the recalled item is a pharmaceutical, the pharmacy would be able to sign into the software to ascertain a particular crash's cart location and the medication it contains.

If a large quality of assets are accumulating in the soiled room, for instance, the hospital's managers can receive a message alerting them to that situation.

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