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RTLS data across the healthcare enterprise

May 06, 2021
Business Affairs Health IT
From the May 2021 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The most sophisticated solutions only record handwashing events when a dispenser is used in the presence of a staff badge, protecting the integrity of the handwashing data. The data is then compiled into reports to help develop improvement strategies, such as focusing on retraining where it is needed most, and meet audit and documentation requirements. Some electronic hand hygiene systems can also provide a gentle, real-time reminder to staff members who have missed a compliance event before their interaction with a patient.

Not only do hand hygiene monitoring systems help instill best practices in staff, improving compliance rates mitigates one of the most common sources of costly HAIs – poor hand hygiene. Prior to the pandemic, Denver Health implemented the technology and improved adherence with hand hygiene policies by more than 70%. Another independent study conducted by three healthcare systems found that using electronic hand hygiene monitoring solutions helped improve their collective compliance rates, on average, by more than 80%.

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These results are possible because automated systems provide impartial information for healthcare administrators and IPs, which can be used to accurately identify strengths and weaknesses related to hand hygiene compliance and strategies for addressing non-compliance. Implementing this technology also provides facilities with robust reporting that can help meet or exceed expectations during accreditation visits, such as those conducted by the Joint Commission or State Department of Health.

Clinical workflow optimization
Another valuable application of RTLS data is the ability to track and optimize clinical workflows. The information generated by monitoring and analyzing clinical workflows can inform operational improvements, reducing the burden placed on staff while enabling clinicians to lower patient wait times, increase bed turnover, and more. Oregon Medical Group’s outpatient facility transformed their patient experience using RTLS, reducing patient wait times by 75% and increasing time spent with medical staff by 50%.

RTLS automates the collection and documentation of patient and staff activities to provide an unparalleled level of real-time situational awareness. The resulting aggregate data can be used to track and report key metrics, like patient throughput, and identify trends and bottlenecks impacting the delivery of patient care. For example, historical data can help predict future staffing needs to optimize the use of a facility’s workforce and ensure the facility is properly staffed in relation to anticipated patient volume.

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