Evaluation of an infrared/radiofrequency equipment-tracking system in a tertiary care hospital.
Optimal management of assets in large hospitals is important to both cost control and patient care. A prospective controlled evaluation was conducted to determine whether an asset-tracking system using combined radiofrequency and infrared signals could increase equipment utilization, increase appropriate charge capture, and decrease personnel time spent looking for equipment. Two wards at Duke University Medical Center were randomly assigned as intervention and control. Beds sequential compression devices (SCDs), and infusion pumps were monitored during a 6-week intervention period, preceded and followed by 6-week control periods. The system's accuracy for detecting equipment, relative to a trained surveyor, was greater than 80%. Accuracy for locating equipment to a specific room was 60-80%. With the system available, we observed increased utilization of infusion pumps but not of beds or SCDs. Nursing staff and system users had positive impressions of the system and its potential. Tracking systems can successfully locate hospital equipment and may improve utilization.
Ostbye, T; Lobach, DF; Cheesborough, D; Lee, AMM; Krause, KM; Hasselblad, V; Bright, D
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