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Children's Hospital Colorado to Expand Wireless Sensor System

The hospital reports that TempSys' CheckPoint solution has already paid for itself "a couple of times over," by reducing the amount of labor required to track temperatures within blood coolers and other units.
By Claire Swedberg
To resolve the problem, Wilcox designed a perforated plastic partition that could be installed within a refrigerator in order to ensure that products could not be placed against the back of the unit, where they could diminish airflow. He and his team also found that another type of refrigerator was not equipped with defrosting technology, thus affecting temperature control. To remedy this issue, the team installed defrosting switches within those units.

TempSys' Bob Yuan
"When the hospital put this system in," Wilcox states, "they were more concerned with ensuring a safer product for kids [the hospital's patients] than with a return on investment." The frequent automated readings and alerts have provided that improved safety, he says, though he notes that during the three and a half years that he has worked at the facility, the system has paid for itself "a couple of times over," by reducing manual labor costs. While the nursing staff previously had to check temperatures within all cooling and heating units, and record the results once each shift, that process is now automated. The greater visibility into temperature readings, based on the CheckPoint system, also enables workers to identify and resolve problems before products become spoiled and need to be destroyed, or before a cooling unit requires replacement. "Really," he says, "it does the work of so many people, it's unbelievable."

The latest version of the TempSys tag is also equipped with a sensor that is placed within a cooling unit's doorway, detecting if a door has not been properly closed. TempSys also offers Fetch, an ultrasound- and RFID-based real-time location system (RTLS) that integrates with the CheckPoint system and is used to track the location of equipment, Yuan says. Children's Hospital Colorado, however, is not presently using the Fetch solution, nor is it deploying tags with the door sensors, though it may opt to do so in the future.

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