Johns Hopkins study uses Midmark RTLS to monitor patient ambulation

Patient ambulation, or the act of walking independently with or without assistance, is vitally important to the healing process. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine shows that lack of movement during the recovery process can cause health complications that further prolong the patient’s hospital stay, incurring unnecessary hospital costs. It is in the best interest of both the patient and the hospital to promote and track ambulation during recovery.

Typically, hospitals use manual measurement and data entry to assess a patient’s ability to ambulate—a meticulous and time-consuming process prone to human error.

However, a recent study by Johns Hopkins researchers found that patient ambulation can be accurately and automatically measured by the Midmark real-time locating system (RTLS).

Researchers found that Midmark RTLS determines two key metrics with high accuracy:

  • the distance traveled by a patient wearing an RTLS badge
  • ambulation speed of the patient

Since Midmark RTLS collects and records these metrics automatically, manual documentation becomes unnecessary, helping ensure accuracy and saving clinicians precious time that could be devoted to patient care.

RTLS can be used to measure patient ambulation not only in hospitals, but in occupational therapy, rehabilitation clinics and oncology settings as well. Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Josie Robertson Surgery Center uses Midmark RTLS to measure patient ambulation and to also identify how quickly a post-operative patient is meeting recovery goals. Staff can see when a patient gets back on their feet and how much they have moved, helping determine when the patient is ready for discharge.

Midmark is proud to partner with Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan Kettering on the issue that matters most in healthcare today — improving patient care and outcomes.

For more information on the study from Johns Hopkins, see “Using a Real-Time Location System for Assessment of Patient Ambulation in a Hospital Setting” in the July 2017 issue of The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.