I recently shared my thoughts with Rick Dana Barlow of "Healthcare Purchasing News" about why healthcare facilities are recognizing the value of RFID and RTLS technologies despite legacy perceptions that may impact adoption. The discussion and resulting article affirm that RTLS has proven its ability to deliver quantifiable results in healthcare.
As the article notes, supply chain and purchased services expenses are about to exceed labor as the top expense category in healthcare facilities. As a result, I believe that hospitals can no longer overlook both the operational and monetary benefits delivered by real-time technologies.
- Hospital-wide impact: RFID/RTLS extends far beyond “find my stuff” functionality to include sophisticated asset management (think: PAR level management and inventory management), patient and staff workflow, and hand-hygiene compliance monitoring. And it’s not just about the variety of applications at the point of care; RTLS generates a wealth of data that can be analyzed and translated into insights to drive better efficiency and quality in hospitals.
- Built for healthcare: Both passive and active RFID tags are currently in use for a wide range of healthcare applications. Since this technology is also used in even more demanding industrial environments, it has an excellent track record of durable performance For example, STANLEY Healthcare’s AeroScout T7a tag is designed to withstand the rigorous autoclave and sterilization processes for surgical equipment.
- Secure: As discussed in the article, real-time technology is highly secure at both the physical and data level. Anti-tamper technology has been available for active RTLS tags for some time, and many passive RFID tag manufacturers now offer products that disable the tag if it’s tampered with or removed. End-to-end solutions also offer robust cybersecurity: the AeroScout platform, for example, uses advanced encryption and authentication protocols in both software and hardware to ensure the secure delivery of data.
- Falling TCO and rising ROI: In the article I also acknowledge that total cost of ownership (TCO) has always been, and continues to be, an important consideration when exploring a new technology infrastructure. But as RFID tags, hardware and software continue to evolve and improve, costs continue to decrease. The result? Lower initial investment and TCO, making RTLS an even more attractive and beneficial solution for healthcare. The ROI is also highly compelling and is in fact, it is often recognized in well under a year.
The HPN article also makes a point I would like to reiterate here: RFID technologies have been around for 15 years. This is far from an “experimental” technology. In fact, RTLS solutions are already delivering results for thousands of hospitals. At STANLEY Healthcare, we count many of those among our customers – including St. Francis Medical Center and Peninsula Regional Medical Center.
How can RTLS deliver results for your hospital or clinic?