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Software Integration Makes Tracking Faster at WellSpan Health's York Hospital

The facility not only has expanded its use of AeroScout's Wi-Fi RFID tags, but also has integrated the company's RTLS platform with Four Rivers' CMMS software.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Jul 08, 2011WellSpan Health's York Hospital, located in York, Pa., has lifted a time-consuming, tedious task from the shoulders of staff members within its biomedical department, by integrating its legacy computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) with its AeroScout real-time location system (RTLS) for tracking mobile assets. AeroScout and Pittsburgh-based Four Rivers Software Systems announced the integration—which was completed last year, and is the first time the two companies have integrated their software platforms—at the annual conference of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, held last month.

In 2009, the facility deployed roughly 1,000 AeroScout Wi-Fi-based RFID tags, attaching them to assets in order to reduce the amount of time that the facility's biomedical staff spent tracking down wayward assets (see RFID Helps York Improve Patient Safety, Satisfaction). Since then, according to Joel Cook, AeroScout's director of health-care solutions, the hospital has expanded its deployment, attaching the tags to approximately 3,000 additional assets.

But when attempting to perform regularly scheduled maintenance on the mobile assets, biomedical department employees had to first log into Four Rivers' Total Maintenance System (TMS) OnSite Professional CMMS software, to determine which items were due for maintenance. They then needed to log into AeroScout's MobileView software, in which the tag identification and its associated location data are collected, processed and displayed, in order to pinpoint each asset. Once located, the MobileView software would also reveal whether each particular piece of equipment was available, or if it had been checked out for use.

This was an improvement over the days prior to the hospital's RTLS deployment, when mobile assets sometimes went missing permanently—thereby affecting the hospital's bottom line —or workers had to canvas the facility's hallways and patient rooms searching for urgently needed items. But it was still a time-consuming step.

Last year, the WellSpan IT team worked with AeroScout and Four Rivers to integrate the MobileView and TMS platforms—a process that took only a matter of weeks to complete. Now, when a staff member accesses the TMS software to obtain a list of mobile assets requiring maintenance, each item's location within the 580-bed hospital is also listed, with no further need for toggling between software platforms. What's more, WellSpan IT is collaborating with AeroScout and Four Rivers to create an extended integration that will also be made available to the general market.

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