Some say the healthcare community is a laggard when it comes to location solutions. Manufacturers, retailers and even the NFL have been using RFID to track and trace supplies, equipment, and people for years. However, new regulations are giving hospital leaders more reasons to prioritize RTLS projects, as are labor shortages, supply chain constraints and patient calls for better care.
In fact, three-quarters of global hospital leaders say they plan to rollout location technologies such as RFID in the coming months to better track equipment and specimens and improve patient flow and security. They are also turning to real-time location systems (RTLS) to create more dynamic workflows and improve staff efficiency, safety, and compliance, according to feedback received in Zebra’s latest Healthcare Vision Study.
That means a lot of people within the healthcare community are going to be moving really fast to figure out which RTLS is best for them and understand the potential return on investment (ROI). This includes IT, clinical and operations teams that may only be familiar with barcode-based track and trace technologies.
There is also going to be a push to balance regulatory compliance requirements with other operational needs, such as more automated workflows and decision-making capabilities, which I suspect will lead to conversations about priorities. Which technology deployment needs to take precedence and why? How do location solutions need to interface with the electronic medical record (EMR), room management and inventory systems driving clinical and operational actions? What are the risks of rolling out RTLS without making other technology infrastructure updates first?
So, I asked Wayne Miller, one of Zebra’s EMEA healthcare leaders, as well as Johnny Ong, who is a registered nurse (RN) and serves as Zebra’s healthcare practice lead in APAC, to join me for a roundtable discussion about the trends, opportunities, best practices and key learnings unfolding in healthcare specific to RTLS.