Healthcare management has never been a tougher proposition with ever changing norms and technological standards. With the focus now shifting from quantity to quality, it is evident that healthcare providers have a lot of adaptation to do. The magnitude and scale at which the healthcare industry operates, without efficient clinical and business processes in place, it would be almost impossible to utilize advancements in technology and fulfill government compliance.

Real-time locating systems are one technology that promises to bring better performance to the healthcare sector. The RTLS trend is fast gaining acceptance in the healthcare industry, since it provides constant tracking of assets, while also helping in the timely management of these assets. The business intelligence derived from RTLS about an asset’s location not only enhances clinical productivity but also helps with issues like inventory management, patient care, quality control, and resource planning. However, to derive the most out of this phenomenon and use the intelligence that this technology presents, it is important that RTLS be clubbed with policies that enable the communication of this information to employees. It is up to the employees to use and deploy the information in real time with the help of automated processes.

Adopting RTLS Solution in a Clinical Environment

According to a survey by ID TechEx, the RTLS market will grow from $153 million in 2009 to $2.6 billion in 2018. As the technology becomes more affordable and accessible to organizations, it is bound to be implemented not just in the healthcare sector but also in other sectors, such as manufacturing, retail and distribution, etc. Incorporating RTLS technology will not only influence the quality of care and productivity in clinical environments but also help in enhancing the ROI of the organization.

The success of RTLS technology also depends on the amount of planning and requirement analysis that an organization does before implementing it. Before implementing RTLS technology, several parameters need to be defined, such as:

• How is this solution going to affect your organization’s productivity and what departments (financial, operational, strategic, etc.) is it likely to impact?
• How can one successfully incorporate RTLS with existing technologies, and integrate RTLS with existing business processes and workflow?
• How will the business intelligence derived from this technology be implemented and shared among various entities?

Designing a proper framework before implementation of any new technology not only helps in easing workflow, it also helps gain maximum efficiency within an organization.

Benefits of RTLS Technology for Healthcare Organizations

There are several advantages of using RTLS intelligence that smoothen your clinical and business operations. Here are some of the benefits of using RTLS technology:

Improved automation: RTLS technology works with a patient centric model. The technology helps in matching assets and services to patients to infuse more accountability, reliability and security into an organization’s workflow. This real-time information is automatically transferred to all the entities involved, resulting in efficient productivity and resource management for an organization.
Business intelligence: RTLS technology not only generates intelligence about where an asset is but also helps locate healthcare personnel, patients, employees, and many more entities. This information helps in designing effective maintenance procedures and compliances for an organization.
Inventory management: Each healthcare organization consists of many expensive machines and equipment. RTLS technology helps in managing these devices and equipment while helping to reduce rental and purchasing costs.

The use of RTLS technology for clinical and business intelligence in any healthcare organization will help automate communication and asset tracking processes. It will also help meet the compliance requirements of the various government bodies.