• Not being able to locate equipment, hospitals buy extra or replacement devices for availability, which causes high annual spending and many devices are left unutilized or underutilized.
• Being able to locate patients, staff and equipment easily has a direct correlation to improved patient satisfaction scores and quality of care.1
• Combining RTLS and WiFi tracking into a single system is both cost effective and can help hospitals be more efficient.
• The GE-Cisco solution is Real time Location System (RTLS) and Wi-Fi agnostic, enabling a customized, less costly approach to Wi-Fi and RTLS integration.
• As part of GE’s healthymagination commitment to providing better health to more people at a lower cost, GE’s AgileTrac™ technology has been externally validated to reduce mobile equipment costs by greater than 15%.
GE Healthcare Performance Solutions, a global business providing end-to-end knowledge solutions to the healthcare industry through advisory, technology and healthcare expertise, and Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT networking, announced they have joined forces to help hospitals improve the quality of patient care, increase efficiency, and reduce costs by enabling them to better manage the flow of patients, staff, and equipment.
Through this collaboration between GE and Cisco, hospitals will have the ability to deploy GE’s AgileTrac™ platform, integrated with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network and Cisco Context-Aware Software, to track patients, staff and equipment with diverse network technologies, helping to improve the quality of patient care, increase efficiency and control costs. The combined GE and Cisco solution brings together location information about Wi-Fi clients, tags and wired devices, with proprietary real-time location system technologies (RTLS), regardless of the network provider.
Previously, hospitals were forced to operate two separate tracking systems for Wi-Fi and proprietary RTLS technologies. Now, organizations can achieve a more complete, consolidated view of assets throughout their existing structure.
“Healthcare organizations cannot afford overspending on lost or underutilized assets,” said Rob Reilly, general manager, GE Healthcare Performance Solutions - Americas. “The GE-Cisco collaboration will look to help healthcare organizations reduce unnecessary waste while being more efficient with time, money and equipment. Using the hospitals' existing infrastructure, this collaboration will look to minimize costs to meet the demands for real-time location while providing the tools necessary to effectively manage mobile assets more efficiently. ”
Over 90% of large US hospitals2 deploy Wi-Fi networks while also using RTLS to track and visualize patient and asset flow. Having the capability to stream Wi-Fi and RTLS data into one platform through the existing infrastructure helps hospital managers know at a glance the location of critical medical technologies; therefore providing clinicians with the tools needed for timely patient care. This reduces the need for over-provisioning equipment and medical specialists, while providing improved patient flow.
“This collaboration between GE and Cisco creates the bridge between Wi-Fi and RTLS technologies allowing hospitals to manage multiple location technologies on one platform, and leverage their existing investment in Wi-Fi technology,” said Ray Smets, vice president and general manager, Wireless Networking business unit, Cisco. “Cisco focuses on delivering value to customers by investing in new services and partnering in ways that take advantage of intelligence in the Cisco Unified Wireless Network to solve business problems. In this way, we help enable hospitals to improve clinical processes, help protect patient data, and empower caregivers – deriving more value from their network investment.”
Both Bon Secours Richmond and the Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) see the benefit of tracking assets and patients with the GE-Cisco solution.
“With increasing financial pressures, the need for operational excellence is a necessity. Bon Secours is already benefiting from real-time data on the location and movement of mobile equipment and patients through the GE AgileTrac™ RFID network to make smart decisions to improve care delivery and hospital operations,” said Jeff Pearson, vice president, Information Services, Bon Secours Richmond. “Bon Secours is excited about the ability to simply integrate an additional 9,000 Wi-Fi based assets into the same easy-to-use interface that leverages our existing technology infrastructure investments.”
With asset utilization across the healthcare industry at 40% on average, there is a significant need to help hospitals become more efficient. By streaming Wi-Fi and RTLS into GE’s AgileTrac platform, healthcare organizations can manage the flow of the right asset, with the right patient, at the right time with confidence. As a healthymagination validated product, AgileTrac™ has been proven to optimize use of mobile equipment in hospitals, resulting in equipment-related cost reduction of greater than 15% and net cost facility savings. 3
“Improving and enhancing asset efficiency and hospital facility productivity is imperative in today’s world,” said Michael Joseph, chief executive officer, HCA East Florida division. “Not being able to find the right equipment at the right time makes it difficult for clinical staff to provide the highest quality of care to each patient. Having a single, centralized solution where all Wi-Fi and RTLS assets are tracked will ensure an increase in quality of patient care and access to equipment when and where you need it.”
About the GE and Cisco Technology
The Cisco Unified Wireless Network provides highly secure wireless coverage for healthcare organizations allowing caregivers to gain reliable access to critical patient information from anywhere in the hospital or medical offices, while meeting strict regulatory requirements. Part of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network, the 3300 Series Mobility Services Engine, centralizes intelligence within the network, serving as the platform for the Cisco Context-Aware Software and other mobility services. The Mobility Services Engine is built on an open API for enterprise and mobile applications development. This API makes use of the Cisco Developer Network – of which GE is a member - for certifying the interoperability of solutions.
GE’s AgileTrac™ is an automated workflow solution that allows healthcare staff to better track people, processes and mobile medical assets throughout the healthcare system, ultimately reducing costs and increasing patient satisfaction.
AgileTrac allows staff to make smart decisions at every point of care — leading to better quality of care and better business outcomes. Up-to-the-minute data helps inform staff decisions to help streamline care delivery, manage resources and improve the patient experience.
GE Healthcare Performance Solutions and Cisco will showcase this new technology at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) February 20-24th in Orlando, Florida at GE Healthcare Booth #2401 and Cisco Booth #2051. Today’s announcement is the first in the collaboration between GE Healthcare and Cisco Wireless focused on empowering hospitals to increase efficiencies.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare (gehealthcare.com) provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries.
For our latest news, please visit newsroom.gehealthcare.com/.
1 The American Journal of Managed Care – Jan 25, 2011
2 ABI Research: The Current State of Global Healthcare Wi-Fi
3 AgileTrac is a healthymaginatoin validated product by Oxford Analytica.