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Monongahela Valley Hospital Merges Medical Records With RTLS

The Pennsylvania facility has integrated Meditech's Emergency Department Management software with Awarepoint's RFID-based patient-management solution, to provide it with data regarding a patient's location, condition and treatment.
By Claire Swedberg
Nov 08, 2011Pennsylvania's Monongahela Valley Hospital (MVH) has integrated its RFID-based patient-management system and its Emergency Department Management (EDM) software in order to make the treatment of patients more efficient, by putting more data in the hands of staff members, without requiring them to enter information into separate software systems. The integration of the two systems enables employees, using a single software setup, to learn about not just the areas through which patients passed, and when, but also their symptoms and diagnoses, and any laboratory or diagnostic testing results.

MVH is a 226-bed, full-service facility with a 220-member medical staff, representing more than 40 specialties. The hospital installed a real-time location system (RTLS) hardware from Awarepoint in 2005, to provide more automated patient location and status monitoring using RFID badges worn by workers and patients. The facility also implemented Awarepoint's AwareEDTracker software, for storing data regarding the locations of patients and staff members, as well as anyone with whom they may have met—for example, which specific patient was in contact with a particular health-care provider—and for how long. AwareEDTracker helps the hospital record its patient flow, identify any bottlenecks and assist the staff in determining, in real time, where emergency patients are located—for instance, waiting in an examining room, or undergoing diagnostic testing in a lab.

Awarepoint's Tony Marsico
With the RTLS solution in place, when an emergency department patient checks into the facility, the hospital assigns that individual a 2.4 GHz active Awarepoint RFID tag. The tag is clipped onto the patient's clothing, and it transmits its ID number, via the ZigBee protocol, to readers plugged into power outlets throughout the building. Thereaders, also known as access points, receive data from other nearby access points, until the information is received by a gateway wired to a computer that links the location data and tag ID numbers in the Awarepoint software. The software can then determine the person's location with bed-level accuracy, the company reports.

Over the past few years, the hospital had also begun utilizing Meditech's health-information software, enabling employees to input clinical data from each department that the patient visits.

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