It Is Time for RTLS

Houston Klassen | Executive Vice-President | Infinite Leap

In a recent conversation with healthcare executives of a large health system, I was asked the question: “Is it time to start the deployment of an RTLS system?” They had earmarked the budget for the RTLS project for a couple of years already, however, they had not made the definitive decision to pull the trigger and get started.

One of their main concerns was likely the result of the massive endeavor of implementing an Electronic Health Record system, which continually missed projected timelines, exceeded the expected budget, and completely exhausted both clinical and IT staff.

My answer was immediate and directly to the point: “Yes. You simply cannot afford to wait any longer.”

Why was I so firm? From my perspective, healthcare systems which are not leveraging Real-Time Location Systems are missing out on the opportunity to reduce the cost of healthcare. Given the current regulatory turmoil, healthcare leaders should feel economically obligated to look for ways to improve operational efficiencies.

Implementing Electronic Health Record systems nation-wide was undoubtedly the right step to improve clinical outcomes, increase patient safety and obtain mandated compliance, however, EHRs will remain cost centers for the unforeseeable future in healthcare systems. Therefore, now is the time to address the operational side of healthcare, to keep the doors of hospitals open, and to provide care that is affordable to patients.

To prove my point, I would like to share with you the results achieved by the 885-beds academic medical center, which leverages RTLS solution to streamline a gamut of operational processes. Not only were they able to significantly reduce the cost of running the hospital system, but they also meaningfully improved patient and staff experiences:

● $500,000 annual reduction in equipment purchases

● $300,000 annual savings by automating temperature monitoring

● $2,000,000 value of unproductive hours recovered

Here is a link to read a full case study: How the Use of Real­-Time Location System Technologies Resulted in More Than $10 Million in Quantified Value: Results from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

As you can see, a clear ROI on Real-Time Location investment already exists. The facts speak for themselves. It clearly is time for hospitals to pull the trigger on implementing and benefiting from RTLS.