nurse on mobile device

RTLS: The Future in Healthcare

Mobile Device Usage Is on the Rise and RTLS Is Expecting Big Growth in Healthcare.

Mobile devices in healthcare are becoming more prevalent than ever – and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.  Are you reading this post on your computer or on your phone?  Mobile devices have increasingly become part of our daily lives.  Today we use our phones for almost everything we do – keeping up with friends, managing our finances, reading the news and even watching TV.  Our phones are with us 24/7!  Mobile devices have become an integral part of how many people perform their job every day.  This is now becoming true even in the world of healthcare.

Visited a doctor’s office or hospital recently?  You were likely checked using some sort mobile device, or had your vitals taken and then recorded on a tablet.  Tablets represent the second most-used device in hospitals according to the HIMSS Analytics study.  What’s more, over 40% of those surveyed confirmed they use their smart phones to access information used in providing and coordinating patient care.  It’s no wonder this is the case – if your phone isn’t in your hand right now, I bet it’s within arms reach.

Mobile devices provide doctors and nurses with access to information and critical communications in real time.  Decisions can be made faster, time can be saved and costs can be reduced with such immediate access to information.  It’s easy to see how how mobile device usage is only expected to increase, and why such huge growth is expected in RTLS (real time location systems) in healthcare over the next 3 to 5 years.

Our mobile devices are always with us.  This makes them a powerful tool for gathering, using or sharing information in real time.  With healthcare facilities beginning to implement real-time location systems, the use of mobile devices in healthcare will only grow.  RTLS solutions offer a means of tracking and monitoring staff, streamlining workflows, managing inventory and reducing patient wait times.  The Secure Care Products ENVisionIT® RTLS solution works seamlessly with our mVision® mobile app.  mVision®  enables alerts and alarms to be sent to mobile devices ensuring the fastest response for urgent situations like a staff duress event.

RTLS & Mobile Devices Are Not Without Obstacles

Of course the increasing use of mobile devices in healthcare does not come without risks or challenges.  The decision making and implementation of any new mobile endeavor requires involvement from key stakeholders upfront.  This means that IT, administration and nursing management should be working together to evaluate and implement any new solutions.  Protection of confidential patient information is critical when talking about the use of mobile devices in healthcare, but privacy concerns are not the only possible issue.  The migration to a more mobile-friendly healthcare environment requires careful consideration of many critical areas.  Do you allow users to BYOD (“bring your own device”)?  Have you developed a thorough mobile device policy?  Does your facility have the appropriate infrastructure for mobile device usage?

In addition to the use of mobile devices in healthcare, the implementation of a RTLS solution is a significant investment.  It requires careful review of, planning for and discussion about your strategic goals and objectives for installing such a system.  Where will the use of RTLS have the most impact on your facility?  Do you have significant leasing costs or sizable capital equipment expenditures budgeted for the upcoming year?  Are you concerned about keeping your staff safe from workplace violence?  Are your patient satisfaction ratings where you want them to be?  RTLS can provide the information you need to address all of these issues and more.  As with any major investment, the upfront planning is critical.  A successful RTLS installation will involve many meetings, close coordination with your vendor, prioritization and a phased approach to implementation.

Learn More About RTLS and Mobile Devices in Healthcare

One thing is certain: the use of mobile devices in hospitals will continue to evolve and expand.  HIMSS18 has a variety of mobile-related sessions already scheduled for this year’s conference.  As always, it’s sure to be a great place to hear some of the latest news about the use of mobile devices in healthcare.  We’d love the opportunity to meet with you at HIMSS to showcase our RTLS solution and mobile app.  We believe that RTLS and clinical mobility are the way of the future and that these platforms offer tremendous value to healthcare facilities.  RTLS and mobile devices will become deeply ingrained in the future of healthcare as facilities work to improve patient care and outcomes and streamline operations to reduce costs.

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