Every hospital has departments where patients who need extra care are placed. These patients include children, elderly people, patients who have special needs, and pregnant women. To increase their safety during their stay and make it easier for staff to monitor such people, it’s advisable to use hospital patient tracking systems. A system like this helps to move around the territory of a medical institution and controls its operational processes in real-time.
How does the real-time patient tracking system work?
A safe environment in a healthcare facility is essential for the peace of mind of patients and staff. How comfortable a person feels during their stay at the hospital largely affects their further treatment and recovery. Comprehensive RTLS solutions help to keep people suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases safer. Thanks to them, it’s possible to instantly determine the location of the patient in real-time, control access to various rooms, and provide the necessary medical care promptly.
Hospital patient tracking systems can be implemented using various technologies. The most effective ones are:
- Bluetooth Low Energy – provides high positioning accuracy up to 3 ft. Simple and fast integration with the pre-existing infrastructure of the clinic. Does not require high implementation costs.
- Wi-Fi – can run on a pre-existing infrastructure, is more affordable than Bluetooth® Low Energy, but locates objects with an accuracy of 10-16 ft.
The tracking system is based on special bracelets, which are put on the hand of a person who needs to be screened. A sensor (tag, label) is placed inside the bracelet and sends out radio signals at a certain frequency. Readers installed in different spots at the hospital receive these pulses and send them to the server for further processing.
The solution calculates the location of a person, and in the event of an unauthorized change, it turns on an alarm and warns the medical staff through the RTLS software. Hospital patient tracking software captures the current location of a person in just a few seconds, which allows clinic staff to instantly respond to wanderings. Notifications can be sent to a computer or a mobile app on a smartphone.
An alert can be triggered when a patient approaches unauthorized areas or pre-set exit points from the hospital, including elevators or front doors.
Mobile tags used for patient tracking are reliable, small in size, and have flexible control options. The bracelets are powered by batteries that have a long service life. A low battery is reported about a month in advance, allowing you to replace your device just in time.
What tasks does the system perform?
Tracking patients in hospitals includes many beneficial features that provide better medical care and alleviate the anxiety of the families. The most important of these are: determining the location of a person, monitoring their movements, and notifying the staff about any incidents.
Determining the location of a patient
The health and safety of patients are of the utmost importance to any clinic. In some cases, people with cognitive disorders can lose control of their actions and do things that may put their lives at risk. Because of this, they should always be carefully supervised. However, due to the usual hospital staff-to-patient ratio, keeping track of every patient is nearly impossible. A patient can easily leave the room and go wandering around the hospital or, even worse, leave it.
That’s exactly when hospital patient tracking software comes to the rescue. If a lost patient is detected, the medical staff can always pinpoint their current location and take them back to their room. The location is determined in real-time, so it won’t be difficult for the staff to follow the patient’s route and find them at the specified point.
Tracking the movement of patients on the map
The wandering system automatically determines the location of the patient and displays their route in the mobile app. Monitoring process is carried out by providing detailed maps of the building, where the movement can be monitored in real-time.
The maps indicate different access zones, and the entire movement history is stored on servers for analysis and optimization. Patient wandering systems greatly facilitate the process of monitoring patients and can even predict possible incidents using AI. This approach increases patient safety, prevents patients from leaving the clinic, and reduces the number of accidents.
Sending push notifications about incidents
After implementing hospital patient tracking software in a medical institution, you can quickly respond to any incidents. If a person suddenly feels unwell and faints while walking around the hospital, the app will instantly send a notification to the medical staff. Likewise, a patient can easily press a button on their bracelet and call for a doctor.
If needed, notifications are easily customized based on current workflows. Alerts can be sent to medical staff in the following cases:
- the patient deviated from a certain route;
- the patient didn’t go back to their room in time;
- unauthorized exit outside the controlled area;
- loss, damage, or weak fixation of the bracelet.
In addition to these features, hospital patient tracking systems provide many others. The platform provides management and staff with detailed analytics, which allows them to analyze emergencies and optimize the workflow of the hospital without hindering its daily activities.
Benefits of implementing hospital patient tracking systems
Tracking patients in hospitals allows clinics to improve the quality of patient care. Implementing it makes it easy to control movements and provides several benefits, such as:
- quickly searching for people within the territory;
- improving patient safety inside the hospital;
- tracking patient wanderings and preventing them from entering unauthorized areas;
- preventing possible emergencies;
- facilitating staff workload;
- saving time by rapidly determining the location of any patient;
- receiving up-to-date information about any emergency, which allows you to quickly come to the rescue.
To sum up, determining the location of patients and monitoring their movements makes the hospital more efficient. Thanks to patient tracking, it’s possible to perform proactive event management and ensure high safety. Statistically, tracking patients in hospitals increases the productivity of the clinic, reduces its costs, and increases the loyalty of patients and their families to the medical institution.