Real Time Location Systems (RTLS) are growing in popularity for inpatient hospital facilities, but few nursing and senior living facilities are leveraging the technology. RTLS services leverage a variety of technologies, but at their core they use the location of assets or people to inform workflows or decision making.

Here are a few reasons why senior living facilities are choosing to install an RTLS service, like AirFinder:

1. Prevent Buying Unnecessary Equipment

By tracking the location and utilization of equipment like monitors, pumps, wheelchairs, beds, etc. purchasing decisions can be evidence based, instead of being based on intuition.

For instance, if a request from the medical team to purchase additional equipment can be backed up with data on usage patterns, the request is much more likely to be approved by corporate planners.

2. Log Staff Interactions

There are many reasons why having a durable log of patient - caregiver interactions, from continuous improvement to litigation or compliance. An RTLS service that is gathering data automatically can help alleviate the burden of logging, while increasing the accuracy and validity of the data.

3. Wandering Dementia Patients

The safety of dementia patients in senior facilities is a paramount concern. By leveraging tracking systems that can alert staff immediately to the movement of patients, whether at night or if they try to leave the facility, safety can be improved. Tracking allows doors to remain unlocked or open, which improves both patient and family attitudes toward care.

4. Find Equipment Quickly

Whether a nurse simply needs to locate equipment for a procedure or the biomedical team needs to take something out of service for maintenance, time spent searching for equipment is costly. With an RTLS service, equipment can be located via a mobile app or web based dashboard.

5. Find Patients Quickly

Most facilities allow residents to move freely throughout. However when a patient needs to be located for medication, procedure, and visitor, staff routines can be disrupted. If residents can be located via RTLS, it saves time and effort for everyone. Families also enjoy being able to locate their loved one quickly.

There are many RTLS technologies that work for nursing facilities, but Bluetooth based RTLS like AirFinder have a few advantages:

  1. The system can be deployed with no IT integration whatsoever.
  2. It is highly secure.
  3. You can use inexpensive, open source, flexible tags. AirFinder uses open-source iBeacon tags that can be purchased from multiple suppliers.
  4. It provides an extensive online dashboard.

RTLS for Long Term Care Facilities

Written by Dominic Marcellino

Dominic is the Product Manager for AirFinder. He manages our core Symphony Link products, and he is also responsible for managing the development of new products. He keeps the Engineering, Operations, Marketing/Sales, and Strategy teams working together to get our products to market looking great and performing even better.

Prior to Link Labs, Dominic worked for ten years at the Environmental Defense Fund and Ecologic Institute US (EIUS) solving key policy problems in renewable energy, energy efficiency, transportation, and climate change. He ran EIUS as Executive Vice President in 2014; while there, he obtained nearly $1m in grant funding for projects, including the Emerging Leaders in Environmental and Energy Policy Network, which he co-founded. Dominic holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Dayton. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Germany from 2002-2004 and a Robert Bosch Fellow from 2008-2009.