RFID Talk Blog

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center improves patient safety with RFID

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is deploying RFID technology to automate temperature monitoring at UPMC St. Margaret Hospital, and plans to roll out wireless temperature monitoring and asset tracking at most of the 15 U.S. hospitals it runs. When its new UPMC East hospital in Monroeville, Pa. opens next month, the 156-bed facility will rely on technology to identify caregivers as they walk into a patient’s room and provide clinicians with real-time, relevant information at the patient’s bedside.

The asset management solution, part of Aeroscout’s Healthcare Visibility Solution, enables UPMC staff to quickly and easily track the location of critical medical equipment throughout its facilities, ensuring that equipment is at the right place at the right time while eliminating the need to manually search for items. UPMC uses the temperature monitoring solution to automatically and wirelessly monitor the temperature of refrigerators and freezers, helping prevent spoilage of medicines, vaccines and even food. Both applications free up a significant amount of time so that staff can focus on caring for patients.

When it opens this summer, UPMC East will use RFID to deliver real-time key patient data to caregivers the moment they enter a patient room.

Following the success of its current implementation, UPMC plans to extend the value of the visibility solutions in innovative ways. For instance, UPMC will use AeroScout’s solution when it introduces a SmartRoom system at UPMC East in Monroeville. The SmartRoom will use RTLS to identify caregivers as they walk into a patient’s room and provide clinicians with real-time, relevant information at the patient’s bedside.

After researching RFID solutions for several years, UPMC opted for Aeroscout’s Healthcare Visibility Solution to leverage its investment in its Wi-Fi network and the related expertise it had developed. The AeroScout solution also can use low frequency and ultrasound for additional use cases such as par level management, and offers integration capabilities to allow other UPMC software providers to utilize location and condition information, for instance, temperature readings, for specific clinical and operational applications.

“After our extensive testing and due diligence, it was clear to us that Wi-Fi-based healthcare visibility solutions were not only the best model for our health system, but also the standard that would prevail industry-wide because of the important advantages they offer over proprietary systems,” said James Venturella, CIO, Physician and Hospital Services at UPMC. “By using our existing Wi-Fi infrastructure, the AeroScout solutions are easier to deploy, allowing us to see the associated productivity and patient care benefits more quickly.”

 

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