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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

In the future, Broussard says, he hopes to enable all personnel to use the technology for security purposes as well. For instance, if a worker was in danger from a patient, that employee could press a duress button on his or her badge, which would issue an emergency alert indicating the individual's location. That message could be received by management, or by other staff members on their pagers, such as security employees within the vicinity.

Tags have been attached to 1,274 assets to date, and badges are currently being worn by approximately 200 employees, including housekeepers, nutritional workers delivering meals, biomedical engineers and nurses.

IR emitters (also known as monitors) mounted on ceilings provide the hospital with room-level accuracy regarding the locations of assets and personnel.
According to Broussard, there have been some challenges to using the technology. For example, he says, although the system can identify the number of wheelchairs within a specific area, it cannot determine if those wheelchairs are in use. Eventually, he adds, he would like to expand the solution's use to include patient wristbands, so that the hospital could monitor patients as they move throughout the hospital.

Our Lady of Lourdes' RTLS installation has gone well, Broder says. "Everyone has been great to work with on this implementation, because they really get it," he states. "They realize they can save money."

According to Broussard, the system does, indeed, save the hospital money, by ensuring that equipment is not misplaced and then re-ordered unnecessarily. What's more, he notes, the technology helps to ensure that employees spend less time searching for missing items, and more time providing patient services.

"I think the technology has been a huge time-saver," Broussard says, "and it gives me the ability to make sound decisions about the reallocation of equipment."

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