RTLS: Keeping electronic tabs on patients (and staff) can offer major insights into efficiency in care

29 Jul 2019 8:14 AM | Anonymous

July 29, 2019

Using electronic tools to keep track of patients could be the key to enhanced efficiencies in healthcare, although the stigma of having someone looking over your shoulder still needs to be addressed with patients and staff alike.
Kevin Hoover, MD, PhD,  Director of Musculoskeletal Imaging and Intervention at Virginia Commonwealth University, recently spoke to MGMA senior editor Daniel Williams on the MGMA Insider podcast to discuss advances in real-time location systems (RTLS) – tech tools designed to provide pinpoint monitoring of both patients and staff.

Real-time location tools (RTLS)

Hoover said the largely non-intrusive RTLS tools, contained in something as simple as a clip-on ID badge, allow instantaneous updates on patient whereabouts, and can yield data invaluable to integrating specialist services or even monitoring patient drug interactions.

“It’s a neat tool,” he said. “What RTLS allows us to do is to know where someone is, and when they’re there. These are all really key pieces of information that allow us to optimize the time patients spend in one place. For example, if you’ve got a patient receiving infusion for a rheumatoid condition, which might take two hours, we want to know how long that patient is sitting there. Or you may just want to know how long that patient spent in a waiting room.”

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