Viewpoint: Awarepoint RTLS Client Spotlight on Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical CenterAllyn Whaley-Martin, Director of Safety at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center (OLOL) will be presenting her hospital’s RTLS story at RFID in Healthcare East. At this event, you’ll hear “How the Latest RFID Systems Are Helping Health-Care Providers Improve Patient Care While Cutting Costs”. The conference is October 12, 2010 at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia and we encourage you to attend! Click here to view the conference agenda - discount registration is still available.
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center deployed an enterprise-wide RTLS system from Skytron, powered by Awarepoint. The deployment covers almost 1 million square feet, with nearly 5,000 medical equipment assets under management. Allyn is responsible for implementing worker safety and managing the facility’s safety program. As part of her duties, management of medical equipment that falls within the Joint Commission Environment of Care guidelines are within her purview. Making sure equipment is available and working properly is part of the program’s goals. In order to achieve this, her department must, of course, be able to actually find it.
I sat down with Allyn to get her perspective on the value of RTLS at her facility. Here’s a preview of what she’ll be presenting at RFID in Healthcare East:
What were the unique challenges that led Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center to an RTLS system?
“Not uncommon in hospitals, our biggest challenge was the perception that we didn’t have enough IV pumps. Even after several cycles of buying more, the perception continued, primarily in the Emergency Department. Nurses continued to feel they didn’t have a pump when they needed one. We knew we had enough inventory, but simply couldn’t find it.”
You mentioned several cycles of buying more IV pumps, but staff still felt they couldn’t find a pump when they needed one. Have your purchase requests changed since RTLS?
“It’s interesting to recall how many times we purchased IV pumps (a couple of rounds) before RTLS, but still had trouble accounting for them all. When we started tagging equipment, there was no way in the world we thought we would find everything we thought we had. We actually found all 600+ and the good news is that we now know for certain we have enough pumps for the volume of business we do.”
In addition to knowing the location of your IV pump inventory, have you seen other tangible improvements to the perception of equipment availability now that RTLS is implemented?
“Actually, yes. Now, with RTLS, we make sure IV pumps are where they need to be – and this has actually now evolved beyond pumps to beds and other key equipment pieces. Within the first month of RTLS implementation, we reduced complaints from nursing that “we don’t have a pump” to zero! And, people seem to be sharing equipment now – no drama around it. From daily complaints/daily concerns to nothing! This helps nursing leadership, saves time, and shows our nurses’ confidence in the system.”
Helping overworked staff is typically a value driver for RTLS. Have you been able to show results in how the system has improved the work environment and efficiency for staff?
“Yes, using the reports data to show how many equipment searches are conducted allows us to calculate time savings for clinicians and materials management teams. We’ve also seen an improvement in our preventive maintenance (PM) completion rates. Although our PM completion rates were high before RTLS, there was a % of equipment maintenance dates missed simply because we couldn’t find the equipment. As Director of Safety, I continually remind us how important this task is in making OLOL a safer place. Since RTLS was implemented, we’re down to 3.2% of PMs found incomplete. This represents an improvement from 93% - 97% completion. We continue to work on increasing this sustained trend in being able to find stuff we need to do PM on, as we know that with each passing period beyond the scheduled maintenance date, the risk of malfunction goes up.”
Thanks Allyn! We’re really looking forwarding to your upcoming presentation at RFID in Healthcare East.
Join us at RFID in Healthcare East to hear directly from Allyn when she’ll address these RTLS value drivers as well as the subjects below and be available to take your direct questions:
• Why did you choose Skytron, powered by Awarepoint, as opposed to another technology?
• How did you determine primary end user goals by department?
• What departments are the biggest users of the system?
• How has the staff responded to this system?
• Do you have plans to change how you are using the system or to expand in the future?
Remember, the conference is October 12 at the Radisson Plaza-Warwick Hotel in Philadelphia. We encourage you to attend! Click here to view the conference agenda and note that discount registration is still available.