April 20th, 2017
JPS Health Network is using technology to help ensure that certain medical supplies and equipment are available where and when our medical professionals need them. Two technologies used at JPS are the Real Time Location System (RTLS) and automated supply cabinets.
JPS is embracing Real Time Location System (RTLS) technology, joining healthcare leaders including Johns Hopkins and Virginia Mason in harnessing this concept to create institutional efficiencies that benefit patients and providers while improving stewardship of network resources.
In simple terms, RTLS is similar to GPS: GPS helps people find their destinations, while RTLS helps locate and document equipment.
RTLS systems have a multitude of uses in healthcare and are being deployed in the hospital and clinics to preventing the loss of equipment (such as wound VACS,) decreasing the amount of time spent locating equipment (such as IV pumps) that has been rented, needs repair or maintenance work or has been recalled, says Hope Olsen, IT project manager.
Ceiling-mounted sensors pick up invisible infrared and radio frequency identification signals emitted by tags on the piece of equipment that allows the ability to pinpoint its location in the hospital.
“We put them on highly mobile equipment. It will tell you exactly where it is,” says Josh Virnoche, manager of Clinical Engineering.
In March, technicians used the system to locate and track about 700 infusion pumps for scheduled preventative maintenance. That job, which used to take 90 days, was completed in just 30 days. Without the system, the technician would have to go to individual floors to find each pump, a labor intensive process, Virnoche said.
JPS uses automated supply cabinets to help manage our inventory of medical supplies and equipment.
Pyxis SupplyStation systems resemble a vending machine, but instead of selling snacks or sodas, these machines dispense medical supplies. To access items inside, medical staff put in a code, their fingerprint and the patient’s name and the device unlocks.
The machine automatically removes the item from inventory, bills the patient and, once an amount gets below a preset level, will automatically place a reorder.
In Invasive Labs, the machine holds items such as guide wires, catheters, stents and balloons used for a variety of invasive procedures.
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