Real-Time Locating System

Student’s Name

University of Affiliation


Real-Time Locating System (RTLS)

St. Michael is an acute care facility based in Alabama. The healthcare facility boasts of a 1,000 bed capacity that is run through a manual admission model. The local community hospitals refer their patients to the hospital after requesting for a consultation with a specialist doctor. Patients arrive at the facility in wheelchairs and ambulances which increases the population of sick patients along the hallways (California Healthcare Foundation, 2011). Some of the patients are assigned to the wrong floors which increases the level of hallway stays. Consequently, the most overcrowded hospital areas include:-

· The emergency departments that deal with critical conditions such as accidents.

· The inpatient section that deals with the admission of new patients.

Change Project Plan

The purpose of this project plan is to propose the implementation of a patient transfer center to handle all patient referrals from other hospitals. The center will be characterized by a call center for handling all incoming referrals. Therefore, all admission information will be managed from this central system including bed placements and emergency room requests. A Real-time locating systems (RTLS) tracking system will be implemented to keep track the locations of all inpatient admissions and shared medical equipment (“How to Prevent Corridor Clutter in Hospitals,” n.d). A 30 minute parking rule will be implemented within the facility to notify personnel whether equipment is close to violating the Line Safety Code.

Assessment of environment

Current practices

During the swine flu pandemic the hospital faced increased pressure to its emergency and in-patient departments. The inefficiencies in the current system created unnecessary delays to the delivery of healthcare to patients(Pearl, 2018). The hospital corridors ended up being used as waiting rooms for patients who have been admitted to the hospital. The patients were forced to wait in trolleys placed along the hospital corridors or in ambulances for over 12 hours before finding a vacant bed (Triggle2018). The delays in the admission process have been blamed on the amount of work required to transfer patients form the emergency departments or operating rooms into the wards. Medical personnel are forced to create makeshift dividers along the corridors to provide privacy to the patients.

The hospital structure

The number of carts or equipment found along the corridors can reach a maximum of 240 at any particular time. This includes supply carts, rolling walkers, treatment carts, oxygen tanks, and patient beds (Mitchell, 2006). A higher rate of foot traffic is witnessed along the hallways during housekeeping, emergency situations, serving of meals and shift changes. The other category of non-wheeled clutter included linen bags, IV poles, housekeeping, and food service carts. This category of equipment contributed to more than 1% of the overall foot traffic along the corridors.

The need for change

The Joint Commission (TJC) has identified corridor clutter as a top safety standard for patients that can lead to hospital incompliance (“The Joint Commission,” n.d). The commission cites the Life Safety Code as a requirement for all exit paths within a hospital. This includes emergency exits and fire escape. This code requires hospitals to clear all obstructions, clutter and unattended items along the corridors or egress (“How to Prevent Corridor Clutter in Hospitals,” n.d). Clear hallways enhance patient safety during emergency situations such as terror attacks or fire among others. Clear hallways make it easier for medical personnel to quickly evacuate and relocate the patients as visibility is enhanced.

Advantages of change

Clearing all clutter along the hospital hallways will enhance the hallway throughput rates and capacity. This will be achieved by redesigning the patient admissions process, centralizing bed placements and tracking the status of new referrals. The benefits to the hospital will be to:-

· Reduce transfer time between facilities to one day.

· Increase patient flow along sensitive areas by 80%.

· Reduce the nursing time for finding patient information and medical supplies by 50%.

· Reduce the number of registration personnel and admission time by 90%.

· Reduce the average patient waiting time to less than 30 minutes.

· Reduce the rate of ambulance diversions and unseen patients by 50%.

Cost and resources

Developing a central referral and call center will cost the institution a minimum of $1 million. This cost will include the underlying technological infrastructures, servers, tracking systems and the supporting soft-wares. A bedside registration and discharge system will be introduced to enhance the bed allocation and patient discharge process. A discharge lounge will set aside to fast track the release of patients from the hospital. An outpatient area will be created to cater for patients who do not need full registration or admission into the hospital (“California Healthcare Foundation,” 2011). An emergency zone will be created to manage placements of patients coming from the emergency department or the operating rooms. These patients will be provided with tags that will automatically update their locations as they are transferred to new rooms. The medical equipment such as wheel chairs and gurneys will be stored in adjacent rooms facing sensitive areas such as the laboratory, imaging rooms or operating rooms.