Stephanie Toronidis, Marketing Coordinator
Whether it is in our cars, phones or tablets, using some form of GPS has become second (perhaps first) nature, especially with the growth of social media platforms, take Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Google+ which all have opt-ins for location tracking. You can keep up with where your friends are as they upload pictures or write posts or even when they are on the go, “checking in” to stores, restaurants or airports no matter which town, state or country they might find themselves. Although these are some of the more trivial use cases of GPS, the point is there is a growing consumer expectation for location awareness. Similarly in healthcare, there is an increasing expectation and market need for indoor tracking, using technology synonymous to indoor GPS, called RTLS, or real-time locating systems. Healthcare facilities are increasingly adopting these types of systems to keep tabs of all of their critical assets (including people) to maintain patient and staff safety, increase satisfaction of patients and caregivers and streamline workflow to increase throughput.
Image Credit: “Heartography”
Patient tracking was at the center of the tragic SF General Hospital news story that broke on October 9th, regarding the untimely death of one of their patients. She had been reported missing the day she vanished and her whereabouts were unknown by her friends, family and the hospital, for close to 2 weeks. Prior to being found dead in one of the Californian healthcare facility’s stairwells, the SF General patient had been checked into a patient room just one floor above. With the active RFID tracking solutions which are available to the healthcare industry today, officials could have had the capability to physically “retrace steps” in order to find her location. As the healthcare industry evolves, we see increasing demands on hospitals and healthcare professionals to do more with less, there should be a natural shift towards automating processes involving patient tracking and locating, to increase safety, prevent mistakes and help save lives.
Read more about the SF General Hospital Death here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/09/justice/body-in-hospital-stairwell/index.html?goback=%2Egde_149448_member_5794488093759266818#%21