Using RTLS to Effectively Track and Utilize PAPRs During COVID-19

by John Stehle, Ph.D., CIC, CCHM | Director of Performance and Value and Chief Infection Prevention Consultant at Infinite Leap

As hospitals and healthcare providers treat patients during high demand (COVID-19 pandemic) scenarios, they need a way to manage the use of their PAPRs in order to protect their staff while preventing further spread of the virus. In addition, an effective, functional respiratory protection program is required to comply with OSHA standards. Because the equipment is compact, PAPRs often can’t be found when needed, and they can be missing pieces or need to be charged. To combat these issues, a hospital may choose to manage PAPR inventory and usage through a centralized or decentralized storage and workflow environment; both scenarios have their pros and cons.

Real-Time Location Systems provide hospitals with an appropriate infrastructure capable of tracking and monitoring many types of equipment and assets throughout an organization. By using this system, the challenges around tracking and managing PAPRs can be more readily overcome.

Overall, the use of RTLS helps to reduce the obstacles in both the centralized and decentralized PAPR storage and workflow settings. The use of RTLS aids in the staff usage of the PAPRs when needed, prevents any unnecessary hoarding, and ensures the PAPRs are functional (charged and with all necessary components) when they are needed.

An RTLS solution can be put in place to improve a hospital’s respiratory protection program and ensure effective, efficient use of the costly PAPRs, especially in times of high need such as with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on using RTLS to help manage PAPRs, please read my whitepaper “Using RTLS to Effectively Track and Utilize PAPRs During COVID-19 Pandemic as Part of an Effective Hospital Respiratory Protection Program.”