The caller was almost frantic.

I need an IV pump …now,” she screamed.

Becky Brown, Director of Information Technology at Unity Point Health (Methodist, Peoria), was certain that there was a pump in the room where the nurse placed the call. After all, it said so on the TeleTracking floor plan screen Becky was looking at, and that system tracks items and people down to precise room level.

With some of the other systems,” Becky says, “you can get close, but it’s not real time.”

Maybe that device was there a few minutes ago. Maybe it’s in the room above you or the room below you. So we look at our map and it says there’s an IV pump in room 10, it’s there.”

Armed with that knowledge, Becky went to aid the nurse. “We go up to help her and she swears there is not a pump in this room and ‘I’ve got to have one’, Becky recalled.

And lo and behold, behind the curtain, back in the corner, sitting on there on the window sill is the IV pump.”

Hoarding is a problem at virtually every hospital. Sometimes devices are hidden in closets, behind curtains, even above ceiling tile. However, according to Becky, after installing TeleTracking RTLS at Unity Point, “a lot of that has gone away because they don’t really need to do that now.”

It’s an amazing system,” she adds.  “If I went to my staff today, especially my clinical engineering people and my supply people and said, “you know what, we’re going to turn that off’ they would have an absolute fit because they depend on the system now.

Becky says Unity Point is currently tracking about 1,000 assets. Previously, the hospital employed one person per shift to do nothing but find assets and deliver them.

We put the asset tags on them,” she says. “We put them in a spreadsheet. It takes them 20 to 30 minutes at the beginning of a shift to locate the items, get them delivered and it has been a huge time saving.”

Another thing Becky likes about TeleTracking’s RTLS system is that it won’t interfere with the hospital’s wi-fi system. That’s because it’s built on a 900 megahertz frequency, which is different from the frequency on which laptops, telemetry devices, and so many other items operate.

But perhaps the best feature is the real-time nature of the system.

Real-time is one of the most important things,” Becky says, “because, within a five-minute span, a lot of things can happen within healthcare.”

For more of Becky’s comments on RTLS, watch the 3:21 minute video about how Unity Point Health (Methodist Peoria) — Implemented TeleTracking RTLS:

Are you wondering what’s hiding behind your hospital curtains? Perhaps it’s time you implement an RTLS System…


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