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Texas Hospital Expands RFID-based Condition and Asset Management

Covenant Health System is building on a system from Tagnos that tracks temperature conditions and asset locations, with plans for deployment across all seven of its facilities.
By Claire Swedberg
Jan 13, 2020

Three years ago, West Texas health-care company Covenant Health System launched a hybrid technology solution that automatically captures and manages temperature and humidity levels. The company is now expanding from four of its locations to all seven health-care facilities it operates. In the meantime, a pilot that began three years ago as part of that solution is managing assets in real time, using Wi-Fi and active RFID.

Since the condition- and asset-management solutions were taken live, Covenant Health System reports that it has gained efficiency by capturing condition data automatically, and that it can now generate data related to conditions compliance requirements with The Joint Commission and CMS. Both condition and asset management are part of a solution provided by clinical logistics automation software company Tagnos.

The health-care company tracks pumps and other equipment.
"The plan is to expand on temperature and humidity management with the Tagnos sensors to ensure we have all facilities tracking these conditions," says Ubong Okpon, Covenant Health System's project manager. Initially, he says, the asset-management pilot, which is under way in several surgical ICU units, is improving efficiency by enabling the real-time location of the equipment used to treat patients.

Ubong Okpon
For temperature and humidity tracking, the hospital is using Tagnos's environmental-monitoring sensors with multi-mode asset tags that are wired but can transmit via Wi-Fi, while the hybrid asset-management tags attached to some equipment employ Wi-Fi and a proprietary 900 MHz active RFID protocol for real-time location. Tagnos's software manages all of the data on the health-care company's server.

Covenant Health System operates seven health-care centers that serve both West Texas and eastern New Mexico. Combined, the hospitals have more than 1,000 beds, serve 400 patients daily and employ more than 6,000 workers. The organization is growing as well, as it broke ground for its newest hospital in southwest Lubbock in March 2019.

In 2016, the health-care company began working with Tagnos on a solution that started with monitoring environmental conditions. The company sought to automate the monitoring of temperatures within its coolers that are used to store sensitive materials, such as vaccines, medicines and food, but the solution evolved to include the tracking of ambient temperatures in operating rooms, and then to asset location management.

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