CenTrak Releases its Unified Platform for Healthcare RTLS Data

Published: March 5, 2024

The ConnectRT system provides a solution in which healthcare workers and management can access data related to multiple applications

Hospitals deploying real-time location systems, (RTLS) often take a siloed approach. While one application tracks assets like infusion pumps to ensure they are properly cleaned and available for use, the second might track each time a clinician enters a patient room and sanitized their hands first, based on sensor data capture.

Aiming for a more unified approach, healthcare technology solutions company CenTrak has released a new cloud-based software platform for RTLS to provide efficiency and safety at hospitals that is being piloted by several healthcare companies and will be generally available this spring.

The solution, known as ConnectRT, consists of a unified dashboard and single sign-on capabilities. Additionally, CenTrak provides the RTLS system hardware that captures real-time data about the movement and status of assets or people.

With the release of ConnectRT, CenTrak is first offering two applications—WorkflowRT and Hand HygieneRT —with more to follow. WorkflowRT is intended to automate how clinical employees get their work done while Hand HygieneRT provides a way for health care organizations to track infection control compliance.

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One Centralized Hub for RTLS Data

The need for the unified platform reflects the growing demand and diversity of RTLS systems in use by healthcare companies. When it came to gaining RTLS data, the complexity associated with managing and updating physical server environments was a hardship for some companies, said Paul Criswell, CenTrak’s global product manager.

With that in mind, CenTrak has developed ConnectRT to simplify the adoption and expansion of RTLS systems by healthcare customers, said Criswell. The platform’s cloud-hosted nature is intended to cut the cost of an RTLS deployment, while enabling immediate access to new product features and enhancements over time as well.

“The traditional approach [to RTLS deployments] places a heavy burden on IT departments and poses challenges in scaling and growing systems over time,” Criswell said. In contrast, a cloud-based solution could offer scalability and ease of management as facilities grow more reliant on RTLS systems.

A Suite of Applications for Automated Visibility

CenTrak’s ConnectRT platform leverages one infrastructure and system architecture to serve a suite of RTLS applications. This versatility means companies can prioritize their solutions and gradually scale up, according to company officials.

To enable collection of RTLS data, CenTrak sells full solutions that include its Gen2IR infrared technology as one means to collect data in real-time. It can also provide its software to manage data from sensors using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), Wi-Fi, and Low Frequency (LF) RFID, and other technologies, Criswell said.

The release of ConnectRT follows CenTrak’s development and business acquisitions that have been focused on centralizing the technology used to manage hospital facilities and assets.

How it Works

Upon logging into the platform, users are greeted with the ConnectRT homepage that provides a snapshot of their applications, designed for easy navigation and access to essential information, Criswell said.

Users then can manage the data, receive alerts, gain reports and analytics and share across those applications.

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Data may include the status of equipment and other assets that have been tagged as they move through the facility, as well as badges worn by staff and patients, for instance.

“It’s an exciting time as ConnectRT is poised to revolutionize the management of RTLS solutions for healthcare facilities,” said Criswell.

Workflow and Hand Hygiene Modules

The systems starts with two applications. The clinical workflow application, known as WorkflowRT, was part of the original, cloudbased design of the platform and therefore served as a natural starting point, said company officials.

In fact, WorkflowRT was launched in January 2023 as CenTrak’s inaugural cloud-hosted Software as a Service (SaaS) application, said Criswell. At its core, WorkflowRT is a specialized application designed to automate workflow processes and communications. Now it will serve as one part of ConnectRT’s broader platform.

The Hand Hygiene module is being offered as one of the priorities for healthcare safety, by helping ensure that staff members adhere to proper hand hygiene practices. As a healthcare provider moves about the facility, serving patients, the system can track whether and when they sanitized their hands, based on their proximity and usage of hand hygiene stations, as well as to patients.

“The urgency of this focus becomes evident when considering the stark reality that over two-million patients contract healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) annually in the U.S. alone,” Criswell said. That statistic underscores the opportunity for enhancing patient care and improving financial performance he added.

Future Expansion

In the near future, CenTrak’s Staff Duress application will be offered on the platform, followed shortly by Asset Management.

“Our software roadmap demonstrates our ongoing commitment to innovation and providing holistic RTLS solutions,” said Criswell.

The benefits of the platform are numerous—the unified platform simplifies setup, configuration, and maintenance of RTLS solutions while reducing costs and labor-intensive server management.

Additionally, it offers automatic and proactive updates for all applications. The system is designed for security with advanced encryption, regular security audits, and compliance certifications (including HIPAA) via a multi-tenant solution built on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

As a healthcare company expands multiple applications on its RTLS platform, ConnectRT can consolidate the administrative functions such as user management, staff assignments, site hierarchy structures, facility maps and device configurations across the platform, according to Criswell.

Key Takeaways:
  • New unified Cloud-based platform from CenTrak enables hospitals to adopt multiple applications for RTLS technology and manage them all at one site.
  • The first applications will be workflow management and hand hygiene with others to follow.