The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals (RBCH) have introduced a state-of-the-art system which can track equipment and show where in the hospital items are located.
The Radio Frequency Identification system uses Bluetooth technology to locate items that have been tagged, displaying where they are on digital maps. Tags can be attached to a range of equipment – including beds, pressure relieving mattresses, wheelchairs, lifting equipment, and drug cupboard keys – and can also be fixed to doors to alert staff when equipment is inappropriately removed from that area.
RBCH is the first NHS trust in the UK to install the full version of the system and the Estates Department has already had visits from other hospitals looking to do the same.
Medical equipment library manager, Kate Hatchard, said: “We’re excited to have this new innovation in our hospitals as it has so many benefits. It saves our staff time searching for equipment, enabling them to concentrate on direct patient care, and because it uses Bluetooth it doesn’t clog up our WiFi network.
“We can use the system to find equipment for our patients to use or to locate items that need to be serviced. It also helps us to establish what stock we have so we don’t make unnecessary purchases.”