Tracking Infectious Disease Exposure with RTLS

Shelly Schulz

According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 25 hospitalized patients will contract a healthcare-associated infection (HAI) – and about 75,000 of those patients will die.

Many hospitals and clinics already use real-time locating technologies in their facilities for asset tracking and patient flow. What some don’t realize is that this type of system can also be leveraged to reduce exposure to infectious diseases – improving staff and patient safety.

RTLS systems monitor all interactions between patients, staff and equipment as they move throughout a healthcare facility – creating a whole new level of visibility. At any moment in time, staff have a bird’s eye view of where patients and staff are located – and also have the ability to see the path they took to their current location.

So, what happens when a patient tests positive for a contagious disease? Staff can instantly access a report that traces the path of that patient through the facility, as well as the people and equipment they encountered. Care providers can then use this information to take appropriate actions to reduce the chances of an outbreak – such as notifying, testing and treating exposed individuals, as well as disinfecting the rooms and medical equipment that could be a source for additional exposures.

International Infection Prevention Week is this week – please take a moment to consider how RTLS can become your automated and ongoing surveillance assistant, supporting your efforts to contain the spread of infectious diseases.

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