Can real-time – as in real-time capacity management – save hospitals time and resources?

It was disappointing to learn the other day that the dream of time travel was dashed with the turn of a single screwdriver.  (SeeFaster than light neutrinos may have just been disproven.)

It turns out that reports of neutrinos moving faster than light speed were the result of a loose cable between a GPS receiver and a computer at the famous CERN laboratory in Switzerland -[ScienceInsider].  Earlier reports that neutrinos were recorded moving 60 nanoseconds faster than light speed prompted physicists to speculate that neutrinos could be sent back in time.


Of course, as an MIT professor asked, “who would notice?

The only good thing about this crushing news is that it may turn the collective conscience back to the here and now, the “real time” where we all live and used to work.  I say “used to” because the bigger companies grew, the more removed we became from the here and now. Technology allowed us that distance via phone, computer, fax, email, etc.

Then someone coined the term “Real-Time,” which was kind of like “discovering” the Sun.

Real time is about technology catching up with the way mankind lived and worked for eons. Nevertheless, the coin became currency because of the bar code, the remote tag, the chip, etc. Real-Time became attached to everything from corporate enterprises to Bill Maher.

Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS), the technology which enabled asset tracking, enables moment-by-moment management of the entire physical operations of the hospital enterprise. RTLS-enabled, automated capacity management solutions provide unparalleled oversight of assets, operations, patients and care providers as events unfold.

Now called “real-time capacity management,” it’s a digital nervous system, or “operational backbone,” for the hospital corpus, providing instant feedback of location, status, movement, procedures, capacity and so much more. Using real-time location devices and advanced analytical software, it provides unmatched integrated real-time management of a broad spectrum of daily activities, such as transfers, in-patients tracking, staff location, asset management, recent admissions, recent discharges, room assignments and cleans, mobile device searches, and critical workflow improvement.

This is a potential game changer for healthcare because it optimizes the use of current resources, including and perhaps especially – Time. Under-utilization of time and resources –among the biggest sources of waste in healthcare — can now become one of the biggest sources of savings and revenue, helping hospitals achieve the financial health they need to continue delivering quality care and maximum access to that care.

The convergence of RTLS and capacity management automation gives us a chance to change healthcare fundamentally on a global scale. It is a strategic initiative for healthcare executives in an era of reform, based on the fact that better use of existing capacity and resources is one of the fastest ways to reduce cost, generate income and maintain quality care.


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