3 Ways RTLS Can Help Create a Safer Clinic During COVID-19

By Jeanne Kraimer, Marketing Manager, Midmark RTLS

12/18/2020

 

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down, especially when it comes to patient care. Healthcare organizations everywhere are learning to adapt to more stringent protocols to protect patients and staff from the spread of infection.

There are a myriad of technologies that clinics of all sizes and types can use to design a safer care experience. Knowing where to begin can be overwhelming. Start with a real-time locating system (RTLS), which can help you prevent the spread of infection while also improving workflow efficiency to enhance the patient experience.

What is RTLS?

RTLS provides a bird’s-eye view of patients, colleagues and equipment in your facility, and turns location data into actionable insight for better workflow. Midmark RTLS is composed of three main components:

Badges (worn by people) and/or asset tags (affixed to mobile medical equipment) emit locating signals.

Wired or wireless sensors placed throughout the facility receive signals from badges and tags and communicate location data to software.

Caregivers-Glance-and-Go-960px

And lastly, software solutions display location data, workflow prompts and data insights on workstation computers or monitors in common areas to keep care teams in sync.

Creating a safer clinic during COVID-19 with RTLS

Location data provided by RTLS can help mitigate the risk of exposure and create a safer clinic environment during COVID-19 in three ways:

  1. Automate contact tracing to understand exposure risk. If someone enters your clinic who is later diagnosed with COVID-19 or another infectious disease, you can trace their path with RTLS location data to quickly identify who (and what equipment) was exposed and for how long. Automated contact tracing eliminates guesswork and speeds up an otherwise labor- and time-intensive process, empowering your clinic to take action to help prevent further spread of infection.
  2. Eliminate the waiting room. RTLS allows clinics to implement direct-rooming or self-rooming workflows. With real-time visibility to room status, staff can immediately escort or send patients upon arrival to a clean exam room. With real-time visibility to patient location, caregivers know immediately when a patient is roomed and ready to be seen. Bypassing the waiting room means that patients can avoid one of the most likely locations for contagion exposure.
  3. Clearly communicate room disinfection status. Ensuring that rooms are properly disinfected and ready for the next patient is critical, especially now. Location data provided by Midmark RTLS automatically communicates room status, allowing staff to see when each patient appointment has ended, when rooms need to be cleaned and when they’re sanitized and ready for the next patient.

Mitigating exposure risk is just one of the many benefits of RTLS. Using RTLS for patient flow optimization also improves overall communication, room utilization and the patient experience.

Interested in learning more? 

Clinics across the US are turning to RTLS to help with patient flow and safety during this critical time. Check out this whitepaper Outpatient Workflow Design Trends: Transformations Fueled by Technology to learn about the new workflow models clinics are adopting with RTLS.