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Collingwood General & Marine Hospital Adopts RTLS that Tracks Infants, Assets and Environmental Conditions

The Canadian facility has deployed Stanley Healthcare's Wi-Fi-based RFID tags and MobileView software platform, which also manages asset locations and records temperature and humidity levels within the OR.
By Claire Swedberg

At Collingwood General, a Hugs ankle band is applied to each infant at the time of birth. The band's battery-powered RFID tag has a unique ID number that is linked to data regarding that child in the MobileView software, including the names of both the baby and the mother. The tag employs the Wi-Fi protocol to transmit 2.4 GHz signals at preset intervals, and comes with a sensor enabling it to determine if a band becomes loose, or if someone tampers with it. The Wi-Fi nodes deployed throughout Collingwood receive tag transmissions and forward that data to the MobileView platform.

If an individual begins carrying an infant toward one of the exits, that action can be detected by an exciter—a specialized type of RFID reader installed at each exit. The exciter transmits a low-frequency (LF) signal that the RFID tag captures. The tag then responds by transmitting its own ID, as well as that of the exciter, which also forwards that same information to the MobileView software, via an Ethernet connection. The Wi-Fi nodes within the vicinity transmit that data to the software as well, while the exciter prompts the automatic locking of the door to the stairwell or other exit before the infant's removal can occur. If a potential abductor manages to get past that door, the system will continue monitoring the infant's movements throughout the building, issuing alerts related to those movements via a feature of MobileView known as InstantNotifier, which can display messages on PCs running the software. InstantNotifier can also push notifications to the hospital's Cisco IP phones, as well as to Apple iPhones, iPads and iPods running a Stanley iOS application.

Wi-Fi nodes installed throughout the hospital's campus can track the whereabouts of tagged infants and assets at all times.
This past February, Collingwood General & Marine Hospital began affixing Stanley Healthcare's AeroScout Wi-Fi-based active RFID tags to its assets. "One of the first assets we began tracking was wheelchairs," Lacroix recalls. "Now that all wheelchairs are tagged and tracked in the system, departments can easily locate [them] and reduce the amount of time they spend searching for them, freeing up time to perform more value-added activities."

The hospital also installed Stanley's AeroScout Wi-Fi-based RFID sensor tags within its OR. Now, if the humidity or temperature level falls outside of expected parameters, InstantNotifier sends an e-mail or text message to the maintenance department staff via the iOS app. The system records conditions that can then be reported to other departments as necessary. "The logging and recording of temperature and humidity levels has been a real time-saver for staff, who are required to monitor and record levels under accreditation standards," Lacroix states.

Quantifying the value of the new Wi-Fi-based solution isn't possible, Lacroix notes. "What it has enabled us to do," he says, "is focus on more value-added activities that directly benefit the patient."

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