Monday, January 23, 2012

The Art of Location

Please turn left.....Please turn left.... The GPS lady repeated herself as I basically made a circle..... "When possible please make a legal U turn...." at this point I decided that my car was lost. How was this possible? She is supposed to know where I am at any point in time and direct me to go.... I think we have grown so accustomed to location accuracy that the idea of Lack of accuracy in hospital RTLS seems really strange.

The lawsuit that Centrak has filed against Ekahau is at the heart of location accuracy in a hospital. Products like Awarepoint and Ekahau are at a significant disadvantage to products like Centrak and Sonitor based on their ability to get bedside accuracy. Let's face it, if of you are including a RTLS system in your hospital you want to be able to do more than locate a pump in a room or cancel a call light. In the very least you want the ability to build into bedside location and accuracy. This enables the RTLS system to integrate to the EMR and provide meaningful integration of data associated with

The challenge is to identify where the ultimate accuracy needs to be - or what technology needs to hold it. Products like Capsuletech encapsulate it in their bedside interface. The neuron can easily forward it to the medical record. Products like Centrak are more independent and interface with multiple systems.

RTLS has been somewhat of a novelty "nice to have" product for healthcare. However, the increased need to be Lean and it's ability to support the legal processes has caused a real interest among hospitals. I will caution hospitals that the flash you see in a demonstration - moving dots on a page are really worthless without a quality reporting mechanism.

Leveraging the investment for real value comes from the ability to interpret the data associated with the movement, and utilize the information for meaningful automation of processes.