A Precision Asset Tracking System that Saves Time for Those who Save Lives

Posted on April 26, 2021 by Matthew Russell

It’s just after 3 a.m. when a nurse on the 3rd floor of a busy metropolitan hospital receives an alert. A COVID-19 patient on the floor below is suffering from serious respiratory issues and needs to be put on a respirator.

A respirator that can’t be found.

With the patient’s condition worsening and time running out, the nurse scrambles from room to room and floor to floor looking for the missing respirator. It could be over an hour before she returns with the machine.

Medical equipment is one of the biggest expenditures of healthcare systems. Moreover, improper management of medical equipment is one of the biggest causes of patient-care inefficiency, and a healthcare system that cannot run efficiently puts patients at risk.

The high costs of inefficiency

Using time effectively is often a matter of life and death in healthcare systems. But delays are a common challenge often caused long periods of time needed to locate equipment. In fact, 6000 hours is wasted per month on nurses tracking down lost medical equipment.

Other challenges that can threaten the efficiency of healthcare systems:

  • Disorganization of vital equipment
  • Surplus or lack of inventory items from inaccurate counting
  • Inaccurate record-keeping of asset locations
  • Time wasted by updating manual inventory records
  • Equipment wear and damage due to lack of maintenance

It feels a lot like fighting a losing battle, and the consequences can be costly.

First, there’s the cost of replacing your lost or stolen equipment, which in the U.S. amounts to $4,000 per hospital bed every year. Then there’s the cost to a company’s reputation as inefficiencies eventually lead to a decrease in patient care, potentially putting lives at stake.

Are you willing to put a price on that?

We don’t think you should have to worry about your equipment going missing. You should know exactly where your equipment is, whenever you need it.

DornerWorks engineers have developed dozens of products helping health care professionals provide better care for patients, like a pneumatic hospital bed, enhanced MRI systems based on Xilinx’s RFSoC platform, and more recently a system that enables companies to track their most valuable assets, whether that be a box of PPE or an entire medical diagnostic cart.

Defeat inefficiency with the Precision Asset Tracking System

The Precision Asset Tracking System from DornerWorks can improve hospital inventory management by enabling a real-time location system that healthcare system staff can access and reference at any time.

The system involves a grid of anchors and a gateway device that enable Ultra-Wide Band trilateration within a building’s Wi-Fi network to locate tags affixed to objects.

With anchors affixed to walls throughout two floors of a building, a user can locate any one of the tags attached to objects in that area from a mobile app. Users can upload floor plans to improve the experience, adjust the ping rate, or add, remove, or re-position anchors.

On a smaller scale, we set up anchors in a common room at DornerWorks and held one of the tags on a paper plate. While walking around a room with the electronic tag, the mobile app shows the according tag icon moving around the uploaded floor plan in the same pattern.

Save time for those who save lives

In a large building with multiple wings and floors, this type of solution can shave off minutes to hours of lost time due to misplaced equipment. Apart from improving the accuracy of asset tracking, introducing IoT into healthcare operations can also enable:

  • Supply and ordering automation
  • Theft and shrinkage reduction
  • Accuracy in ROI measurements
  • Minimizing downtime of critical assets with scheduled maintenance

Losing track of critical assets might not be your customers’ biggest problem, but with an asset tracking solution like this it doesn’t have to be a problem at all.

Schedule a meeting with us when you are ready to implement precision asset tracking solutions in your products. We will map out a plan to turn your product ideas into reality.

Matthew Russell
by Matthew Russell