News

December 21, 2016

In the News: Countess of Chester to Track Staff and Patients with Sensors

Digital Health
Laura Stevens

A northern trust is deploying 4000 infrared sensors to track the location of patients, staff, beds and valuable equipment throughout its hospitals.

The Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will install the TeleTracking Technologies sensors in January next year.

The static sensors placed throughout the hospital will use infrared to register the movement of readable tags. The trust’s wifi network will send these reading to a “centralised care co-ordination centre”, where the data will be collated, displayed and relayed to relevant teams.

Rob Howorth, deputy director of health informatics at the trust, said the new tech would give the trust “global view of the hospital”, tracking the patient’s journey from “front door to back door”.

The sensors would manage bed occupancy and staff flows by creating a “virtual wall around the particular bed or location”. With staff and patients wearing readable tags, the sensors could then register who enters and leaves those spaces, he said.

Valuable assets such as bladder scanners and infusion devices will also be tagged and tracked using the technology.

Howorth said there was an “aggressive” deployment plan with the first module of the overall system to go live in mid to late February, and the rest throughout the year until October to November.

The benefits included using data to improve patient flow and intelligently allocating devices to wards, he said.

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