"Waste" in healthcare as defined by The New England Healthcare Institute is "healthcare spending that can be eliminated without reducing the quality of care," and according to a 2009 Thomson Reuters report is somewhere in the neighborhood of $700 billion.
That is a huge number by any comparison, and even more alarming when divided by the roughly 6,000 hospitals in the U.S., which is about $117 million of waste per hospital. What perhaps is just as concerning is that despite the spending that has been made across our healthcare system, most hospitals complain about a shortage of mobile medical equipment.
Although every hospital is different, research has shown that most hospitals utilize their mobile medical equipment less than 50% of the time. That means that half the time, equipment is lying dormant, not contributing to patient care - a sunken capital expense and an ongoing operating cost. Nurses often spend 10, 20, 30 minutes a shift hunting for clean, working IV pumps.
Telemetry units get swept up in bedding and lost in laundry chutes. Wheelchairs go missing. The impact on patient care, staff productivity, and costs is staggering - especially at a time when healthcare organizations are challenged to do more with less.
Today, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions, a global business providing end-to-end knowledge solutions to the healthcare industry through advisory, technology and healthcare expertise, and Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT networking announced they are collaborating to change this. Through this collaboration between GE and Cisco, hospitals will have the ability to deploy GE’s AgileTracTM platform, integrated with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network(CUWN) and Cisco Context-Aware Software, to track patients, staff and equipment with diverse network technologies, helping to improve the quality of patient care, increase efficiency and control costs. The combined GE and Cisco solution brings together location information about Wi-Fi clients, tags and wired devices, with proprietary real-time location system technologies (RTLS), regardless of the network provider. Previously, hospitals were forced to operate two separate tracking systems for Wi-Fi and proprietary RTLS technologies.
Now, organizations can reduce cost while getting a more complete, consolidated view of assets throughout the hospitals existing structure. Research has shown that asset utilization across the healthcare industry is at 40% on average and therefore there is a significant need to help hospitals be more efficient. By streaming Wi-Fi and RTLS into GE’s AgileTrac platform, you can track and manage the location of patients, staff, equipment, and capacity with confidence. As a healthymagination validated product, AgileTrac has been proven to optimize use of mobile equipment in hospitals, resulting in equipment-related cost reduction of grater than 15% and net cost facility savings.
“With increasing financial pressures, the need for operational excellence is a necessity. Bon Secours is already benefiting from real-time data on the location and movement of mobile equipment and patients through the GE AgileTracTMRFID network to make smart decisions to improve care delivery and hospital operations,” said Jeff Pearson, vice president, Information Services, Bon Secours Richmond. “Bon Secours is excited about the ability to simply integrate an additional 9,000 Wi-Fi based assets into the same easy-to-use interface that leverages our existing technology infrastructure investments.”
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