RTLS and Life Safety Monitoring: Reducing Risk, Lowering Costs, Improving Patient Care
As Real time location systems become more widely deployed and used to track vital equipment, especially in healthcare facilities, manufacturing plants and the hospitality industry, businesses are starting to look to integrate critical life safety equipment in their RTLS deployments. Devices such as employee distress medallions, medical oxygen tanks, fire extinguishers, AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators), IV pumps and many others are being integrated into RTLS infrastructure providing businesses with tremendous ROI through improved process and reduced inventory, as well as substantially lowered risk and improved life safety.
RTLS systems are wireless networks deployed inside of facilities, that in conjunction with RFID tags and a software layer, provide businesses with insight into exactly where on their campus each piece of tracked equipment resides at any point in time. In addition, sensors play an important role in life safety monitoring as well.
Fire Extinguishers and RTLS
Does the fire extinguisher in the northern hallway, on the 4th floor of the Green building have pressure? Has it been removed, or are there obstructions in front of it that may make it difficult or impossible to access? These sensors provide information into the “state” of the equipment, while the RTLS solution provides insight into the “Location” of each device.
This insight leads to substantial opportunities for process improvement and improved life safety. Your facility team is notified the instant an extinguisher is removed, becomes depressurized or is blocked, leading to a reduction in vandalism, rapid response to emergencies (and insight into where the extinguishers are being used), and dramatically improved maintenance and replacement cycles ensuring that these critical devices are available, accessible and ready in an emergency.
Medical Oxygen and RTLS
As another example, consider medical oxygen tanks in a hospital. Today, most organizations have a highly decentralized and inefficient system for managing their oxygen inventory. Nurses and other care providers are responsible for identifying empty cylinders and replacing them. The disorganized process leads to bloated inventory levels, unnecessary refills and life threatening emergencies when finding a full cylinder is difficult.
With RTLS systems and smart gauges, central maintenance teams are notified the moment a cylinder begins to run low and the exact location of that cylinder. They are able to ensure that there is plenty of available oxygen at each location ensuring RN’s are no longer searching for and replacing cylinders in a rush. Understanding the state of the oxygen inventory results in substantial reductions in the necessary cylinder inventory on site. Early indications are that medical oxygen monitoring utilizing an RTLS system will provide a $500 per bed / per year savings over existing processes.
Each additional type of life safety device that is brought into an RTLS system has their own compelling value proposition. To learn more about how RTLS systems and life safety monitoring systems work, contact en-Gauge today to speak with one of our experts.
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