There are many situations in hospitals where the environment needs to be monitored closely and kept within narrow limits. For example, hospitals typically have hundreds of refrigerators spread around that are used to store tissue samples, vaccines and medicines, and even some for food. Hospitals also need to maintain a certain humidity range in their operating rooms and patient rooms sometimes need to be monitored closely for temperature and humidity for comfort. Even server rooms need to be kept within a certain temperature range, or the equipment can begin to fail.
By attaching sensors to wireless RFID tags that can send temperature or humidity data over Wi-Fi, hospitals can record temperatures at regular intervals and be automatically alerted if conditions exceed a predetermined range. This translates into tremendous cost savings because it helps prevent spoilage of expensive tissue or medicines or failure of servers, and it supports compliance and reporting. Moreover, the tags can be placed anywhere and moved at will without the need to re-wire, so the staff no longer needs to monitor conditions manually.
Hospitals are extremely complex and dynamic organizations. Doctors, clinicians, staff, patients and equipment are constantly on the move; hospitals must comply with a range of strict regulations and there are periods of high stress and life-and-death decisions. At the same time, there’s constant pressure on hospital administrators to lower costs while continuing to improve the level of patient care and satisfaction.
In this environment, hospitals are increasingly turning to wireless technologies to operate more efficiently, support patient care and improve the patient experience. Here are some examples, identified by Stanley Healthcare, of how they’re doing this.