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Australia's Bendigo Health Improves Efficiency Through RFID
The regional health-care provider is using AeroScout Wi-Fi tags to track patients and monitor the temperatures of supplies, and will soon implement an RFID-enabled staff-safety solution.
"To comply with regulatory requirements and prevent spoilage of expensive medicines, we were looking for a real-time temperature-monitoring solution," Coppin states. Ultimately, he says, Bendigo Health opted to install AeroScout's T5a active temperature-sensing Wi-Fi tags within its refrigerators and freezers.
"The temperature monitoring in our pharmacy was completed in November 2010, and pathology will be completed in January 2011," Coppin says. "The implementation of the temperature-monitoring solution will save tens of thousands of dollars of spoilage based on previous years' losses, and our regulatory compliance should be better. It is already clear that several more fridges may also need attention as they rise and fall outside acceptable ranges through the day."
The staff-safety solution will be rolled out in January 2011 for Bendigo Health's high-care mental-health site. Staff members will carry AeroScout T2u active tags that use both Wi-Fi (802.11-compliant, 2.4 GHz) and ultrasound (40 kHz) technologies to determine their location. Call buttons on the tags can be triggered to alert colleagues in the event of an emergency or duress situation. The real-time location of the individual requiring assistance is sent along with the alert, and will help Bendigo Health to improve employee safety, as well as enhance patients' quality of care.
The rollouts' success could lead to further expansion of the real-time location system in the future, Coppin says, noting, "We are investigating other uses, including tracking high-value critical equipment across the organization, and using tags to monitor a patient's location and feed this information into the patient administration system."
AeroScout's Lister says the success of the rollout at Bendigo Health—the largest regional hospital in Victoria, and one of the largest across Australia—will demonstrate the importance and range of uses of RTLS in health care.
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