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Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust to Expand RTLS Deployment

The U.K. organization intends to use Stanley Healthcare tags and software to track high-value equipment, monitor hand-washing, manage patient flow and facilitate a number of other tasks.
By Claire Swedberg
Aug 15, 2014

Following the successful deployment of an RTLS system at its Worcestershire Royal Hospital, the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is expanding the system to its two other facilities to manage inventory of high-value equipment. The system, consisting of Stanley Healthcare Wi-Fi RFID tags and MobileView software, and Cisco Wi-Fi nodes, was installed and integrated by British software company and Stanley partner BT IT Services Ltd., previously known as BT Convergent Solutions Ltd.

In 2011 the hospital found that some of its medical equipment had gone missing. Managing inventory of wheelchairs, beds and infusion pumps, among other high-value items, was a time-consuming manual task, and some items were managing to disappear. The management decided the best solution was a proactive one that could ensure assets were being managed securely and automatically, preventing such incidents in the future.

Worcestershire Royal Hospital, which opened in 2002, includes specialty care such as stroke services and cardiac stenting. It sought a tracking solution that would be able to identify the location of equipment throughout its facility including nine operating theaters, neo-natal intensive care and its cardiac catheterization laboratory.

"Stanley Healthcare offered a better and more complete package than their competition," says Jeremy Thomas, consultant anesthetist and intensivist at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Dr. Jeremy Thomas (left) and Stanley Healthcare's Kenton Madge
The 500-bed four-floor hospital first installed the system in 2011 with about 1,000 tags applied to various items. The tags include Stanley Healthcare's T2, T2s, T2-EB plus, T3, T4 Bi-Directional and T5 Temperature tags. "Factors going into the choice of tags includes size, ease of attachment, battery life and signal strength," says Kenton Madge, Stanley Healthcare's commercial director for United Kingdom and Ireland.

Since the existing Wi-Fi network did not provide the functionality that would be needed for the RTLS system, it was replaced with Cisco Wi-Fi nodes.

MobileView software residing on the hospital's server provides two key functions: It offers data regarding which items are cleaned, serviced and available; and it also enables the locating of items in real time. Each time a tagged item arrives at a maintenance area, the system identifies that event. When the item leaves that area, the system updates its status as clean and ready for use by a patient.

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