The launch follows Wi Protect’s successful deployment of Australia’s first equipment and patient tracking system at Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) after winning a Melbourne Health tender for the provision, service and maintenance of a theatre patient and equipment tracking system.
According to Jonathan Elcombe, General Manager for Wi Protect, real-time location solutions
(RTLS) are an important enabling technology in improving the efficiency and standard of patient care in hospitals. RTLS solutions map, monitor and measure the status and location of high-value assets and patients in hospitals, providing the critical data clinicians and administrators need to improve workflows and processes.
"Just as business process automation has revolutionised the logistics industry, real-time location solutions will be ubiquitous throughout almost all leading healthcare facilities within a decade," said Elcombe, a former TNT Express executive and management consultant. "The healthcare industry, which is facing extraordinary pressures to improve efficiencies and standards of patient care, is at the forefront of this trend."
While real-time location solutions may not be the norm for 5-10 years, there are immediate benefits for hospitals such as RMH in becoming early adopters. Using ZigBee wireless technology, a system can be deployed in weeks with a payback period of a few months based on the ability to quickly locate valuable medical equipment.
"Finding valuable equipment is a major headache in hospitals," said Elcombe. "Being able to immediately locate equipment on a computer or iPhone saves clinicians time and improves the utilisation of assets, both of which translate directly into cost savings."
In addition to supplying and deploying real-time location solutions, Wi Protect provides consulting services to make use of real-time awareness data — such as equipment use or patient dwell times — for continuous improvements to hospital operations and standards of patient care.
Wi Protect provides business improvements to hospitals to streamline patient and equipment flow through hospitals, enhancing patient and healthcare staff safety, as well as dramatically increasing equipment utilisation.
"Once they’ve paid for real-time location solutions through equipment tracking, hospitals can explore a range of further benefits," said Elcombe. "These include the ability to integrate location and dwell-time data with other information systems. That means reduced data entry for clinicians and, for administrators, the ability to analyse and improve a range of processes and provide management dashboards."
Wi Protect supplies a range of hardware and software solutions based on ZigBee, a low-cost, low-power, long-range wireless sensor technology using the international IEEE 802.15.4 standard.
Unlike other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, ZigBee networks can be deployed quickly and with minimal disruption to healthcare operations.
Wi Protect is the exclusive distributor of the Awarepoint RTLS range, including ZigBee sensors which plug into existing power sockets with no additional cabling required. Awarepoint active RFID tags require minimal power or maintenance, with a battery life approaching five years. Wi Protect also supplies Intelligent InSites real-time visibility and automation software to display the location of equipment and patients.
About Wi Protect
Wi Protect is a specialist innovator within the latest asset management technologies focusing on active and passive RFID, Web and Cloud-based software, ZigBee wireless sensor networks and mobility platforms including GPRS/3G, Wi-Fi and satellite. As Awarepoint’s exclusive Australian, New Zealand and Singapore distributor, Wi Protect is bringing the world’s leading RTLS — Real-time Awareness Solutions® — to the local healthcare industry. In 2008, Wi Protect developed its own low-cost, highly scalable passive RFID Asset Management system, Astute Asset Management, currently being rolled out throughout ANZ and S.E. Asia. For more information, visit www.wiprotect.com.
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