Airedale hospital uses Wi-Fi-based location system to track IV pumps
Airedale NHS Trust in West Yorkshire, England, is deploying a
pioneering real-time location system (RTLS) from Ekahau to streamline
the workflow and improve availability of intravenous (IV) pumps.
The Trust will use the RTLS solution to track IV pumps across various
buildings on the hospital campus using the hospital's existing Wi-Fi
network infrastructure and ID tags attached to each pump.
The goal of the RTLS solution is to optimize use of medical devices
within the hospital and identify future applications for tracking and
tracing technology. At any given moment the IV pumps can be tracked to
within approximately 3 metres, which will save the resources required to
manually locate the devices.
The RTLS system also will streamline stock control, ensuring that
pumps are available when needed and minimizing the time taken to
allocate a pump to a patient.
"Airedale NHS Trust is leveraging its wireless network to generate
operational benefits resulting from location services," said Rebecca
Malin, IT project manager at Airedale NHS Trust. "Our use of RTLS will
enable us to more efficiently use medical equipment and thus support our
application of the LEAN process management methodology."
Siemens Healthcare is leading the project, which includes the
provision of workflow consultancy working in partnership with the
Trust's IT Department and LEAN Teams. The foundation of the solution is
RTLS software from Ekahau Inc. Also being used are Wi-Fi tags from
Ekahau that work as any other standard Wi-Fi network-connected device,
requiring no special configuration or additional readers.
Systems integrator Qolcom, will be installing the Siemens Healthcare
WLAN network in the hospital and using Ekahau Site Survey tool to simply
and easily ensure network signal strength for location tracking
applications throughout the facility.
"RFID is an exciting technology that can be used in many ways to help
Airedale NHS Trust deliver rapid and high standard of care to patients,"
said Dorothy Michel, head of Strategic Development for Healthcare at
Siemens. "Redesigning workflow also will help shape the entire
healthcare organization into leaner process management. By working in
partnership with the hospital's IT team we can also discover a wider
array of opportunities for other uses of RTLS within the hospital
"Being able to track highly portable items, such as IV pumps, will
greatly improve workflow and productivity," said Barry Read, Business
Development Manager at Ekahau, "Our Wi-Fi tags enable accurate,
real-time tracking, while our software enables users to know the current
and historic locations of assets throughout the facility."