Mater Health is improving patient care with the rollout of Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) technology at Mater Private Hospital Springfield.
The healthcare provider is using RTLS technology, implemented by location enabling healthcare company, CenTrak, for 64 beds on levels four and five of the hospital. The technology aims to overhaul traditional patient call systems, improving patient safety, efficiency of clinical workflows and overall patient experience.
With the system in place, the hospital can track nurse presence and call systems, streamline care delivery by automatically assigning and calling nurses to patient beds, and allow for complete visibility into case and patient loads during each shift.
“The solution was integrated with the hospital’s nurse call provider, allowing us to automate the presence of staff within a room, cancel calls on activation and provide the hospital with efficiencies,” CenTrak Australian Technical Sales and Support Head Tim Hombsch said.
Mater Private Hospital Springfield Nurse Unit Manager Joe Gabriel told HITNA that the implementation has given Mater nurses the ability to better manage and allocate resources.
[Read more: New Perth Children's Hospital implements tech to improve care team communication | Two Australian hospitals break through digital barriers to reach EMRAM Stage 7 status]
If the system assigns a nurse who is unavailable, the system then alerts a second responder to tend to the patient in need. Moreover, the system automatically detects and records nurse presence in each room, alerting nurses to which patients are being seen and which need to be seen.
“We wanted to be as efficient as possible, while at the same time providing that high-level of patient care. From a nurse call perspective, it saves them more time and from a presence perspective, it enables them to look down the entire ward and see where all the clinical staff are at a particular time,” Gabriel said.
As a result of the RTLS aid, Gabriel said nurses at the Springfield hospital are empowered with the insights necessary to better serve patients in a quick, organised fashion and improve overall experience.
The project has also resulted in decreased response time to calls, from an average of five minutes to three minutes; an increase in Ward Level Response time for calls at three minutes (from 53 per cent to 94 per cent); and an increase in Overall Response time for calls at three minutes (from 76 per cent to 95 per cent).
Accuracy was a key aspect of the rollout, with Hombsch highlighting how specifics mattered for this implementation.
“The hospital has a few double beds that are separated by a single curtain. So, within the set area in a room, we split the area with what we call ‘virtual walls’ that allow us to know if we’re present in one bed or the other,” he said.
[Read more: EMRs and the Royal Flying Doctor Service – how the iconic institution approaches innovation | Here’s how Princess Alexandra Hospital became digital ready]
CenTrak Vice-President of Marketing Adam Peck said additional options available for the hospital include hand hygiene compliance.
“Because we’ve got a clinical grade solution in place that allows us to know exactly when someone is within a room, we can introduce things like hand hygiene compliance, asset management, temperature fridge/freezer management, and track patients for bed management,” he said.
“These are all things that the hospital now has a pathway towards.”