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Israelita Albert Einstein Hospital Uses RFID to Track Temperatures, Assets

The Brazilian hospital says its deployment of AeroScout Wi-Fi tags and software helps it improve patient services, reduce labor and avoid spoilage of pharmaceuticals and tissues.
By Claire Swedberg
After implementing the temperature-tracking application, the hospital deployed tags so that it could track mobile equipment, reduce the time its workers spend seeking missing items and increase nurse productivity. The facility attached AeroScout T2 tags to 700 pieces of equipment, including wheelchairs, infusion pumps, portable scanners, ventilators and specialty beds. Employees are now issued AeroScout tags (attached to lanyards worn around the neck) with call buttons that they can press during an emergency, to send an alert to the software, which can then forward that message to the appropriate staff members. All tag transmissions from the asset-tracking system are also captured by Wi-Fi nodes, and are received and translated by Mobile View.

The temperature-tracking system went live in the third quarter of 2009, while the asset-tracking system went live this month.

Sergio Arai, HIAE's CIO
"The biggest benefit we have seen," Arai says, "is the increase in staff productivity" of the asset-tracking system. Before implementing the real-time locating system, he says, "our team had to physically search for equipment. Now, nurses only have to look at the software and see where it is in the system." In addition, while the hospital. in the past, kept spare infusion pumps on hand to replace equipment that could not be found, it now requires only 500 infusion pumps, which can easily be located via the Mobile View system.

"Our patients benefit because our staff is able to provide fast service and quickly meet patient needs," Arai says. "For example, if we need to find a wheelchair, it only takes seconds to find one, whereas before, it would take minutes."

The next step is to expand the software's use to enable the hospital to track the maintenance schedules of its equipment. For example, its own SAP system could alert management via e-mail when an item is due for maintenance, and a hyperlink could be provided that would access the Mobile View software data, indicating the specific area of the hospital in which the item is located.

Eventually, Arai says, HIAE hopes to use the AeroScout tags to track patients, though he declines to provide the specifics of that deployment. In addition, the hospital plans to grow in size, and expects the asset-tracking system to grow with it as it expands, thereby allowing the tracking of assets in any location within the exiting or added buildings.

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