Industrial Engineer Engineering and Management Solutions at Work

December 2014    |    Volume: 46    |    Number: 12

The member magazine of the Institute of Industrial Engineers

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Emerging Technologies

Innovative tools of the trade

Tracking more efficient healthcare

With the growing costs and concerns surrounding healthcare, hospitals all over the country are expanding their digital capabilities and looking to new solutions. Traditional cost-cutting methods have reached the point of diminishing returns, yet the number of patients continues to rise. Maximizing throughput while maintaining quality care presents healthcare professionals with the need for reform. Striking that balance has become easier with a number of innovative products surrounding hospital personnel and equipment management.

MedHost OpCenter is a new-age Web-based tool that provides hospitals with extraordinary facilitywide informa-tion. It pulls data from MedHost’s Emergency Department Information System (EDIS) and integrates with other hospital systems, giving executives access to information such as incoming admissions, patient acuity and hospital bed saturation levels. It can provide automatic mobile alerts to the clinicians when thresholds are exceeded, status of bed availability and advanced notice of possible admissions.

OpCenter seamlessly displays accurate data that can mitigate problems before they arise. Through the use of OpCenter in one Texas hospital, patients received a hospital bed 20 minutes faster, which eliminated 225 hours of patient waiting time and enabled 75 more patient visits a month without additional staff. Hospitals rely on leaving their patients with a positive outlook on their experience; OpCenter’s software solutions can make an impact there.

Looking for an even more robust tracking system? TeleTracking Real-Time Locating System (RTLS) provides the answer. RTLS offers the ability to manage equipment and locate patients and personnel from any device in your network. Comparable to indoor GPS, the software maps your facility and routes you to your desired equipment, cutting the costs of time and excess inventory. Tracking patients and locating staff increase hospital capacity without adding overhead.

RTLS software with the established foundation of TeleTracking’s logistics and flow management solutions is a winning combination. Faster and more accurate services are realized immediately in the hospital’s operational efficiency and bottom line. Knowing the right patient is in the right place and being attended to with the right personnel who have the right assets reduces processing and increases productivity and morale of hospital staff.

This noninvasive solution is battery powered and requires no mechanical installation. It uses infrared-based location positioning that will not compete with your existing digital systems, such as wireless, while still delivering pinpoint accuracy. Ensuring your hospital’s assets are available and ready to use is crucial to patient safety and will help with productivity, budgeting, and patient and staff satisfaction.

Zach Fairman is an operations manager at Intel and the Western Region representative for IIE’s Young Professionals Division. He has a Bachelor of Science in industrial engineering from Oregon State University Honors College.